hermosa magic

by: Tara Ruttenberg

today in hermosa was one of those days you aren’t expecting. it’s midday, incoming high tide; your eyes are squinting in the too-bright glare of the sun’s bounce between the sheer film of clouds and the grey-blue sea. you sunscreen up before checking the surf because you know you'll paddle out regardless; not expecting much from a typically windy early afternoon session in hermosa, especially when magic seaweed only gave it a half a star. between the magic of the tides, the miraculous lack of wind, and miles of sparsely crowded glass up and down the beach, it seems this ho-hum day just got a whole lot better.

pretty sure we paddled out without getting our hair wet, and it was definitely overhead, with some big sets out the back to remind us that yes, we were still surfing heavy hermosa, miracle conditions or no. the first few waves were nothing to write home about, getting relatively worked on the inside and still feeling rusty from a week of sedentary life in the office, a 2.5 hour bus-ride inland from the coast. breathing and doing my little surf rituals to try to calm my heart, which i could see beating between triangle strips of bikini at my breastbone, i finally paddled into some beautiful lefts, hitting some backside turns to spray out a bit of work-week steam. i was quite disasterous on the rights for some reason, but after a two-and-a-half hour session, lefts all day still had me stoked – and exhausted.  pretty sure the wave I caught in was double overhead o hasta mas, and way too big for comfort, getting all laird hamilton up in here (keep in mind, at 5’2” pretty much everything is double overhead).

un casado con pescado later, we hoped for the same luck in round two sunset sesh. much to my dismay, it took us 20 minutes to paddle out – hair quite wet this time – and after missing a fast left and slapping myself in the ear with my board in the process (first time for everything?), i was ready to call it a day. the saving grace was one good left corner with a very necessary rail grab on the takeoff and a few hurry-up-and-turns before getting caught inside forever and a day. 

impromptu girl talk at the bungalows over malbec, cured meats and goat cheese rounded out a delicious day. feeling grateful for this sense of community; strong women whose life experiences continue to teach and inspire me. and remind me that the best pleasures in life are usually the ones you least expect.

other lessons for the day: magic seaweed sucks. i need to move back to the beach. hermosa is one of this world’s most magical, gloriously unpredictable slices of surf paradise.