Have you ever been sitting in the lineup and waiting for a set when, out of nowhere, a giant bulge of water comes at you like a miniature tsunami? You're in line for a normal set, but this is something different, breaking farther out and bigger; and so you have to make a split-second decision to either paddle and beat the wave, or sit and duck dive six feet of white water, a real life choose-your-own-adventure.
|Standout approaching! (photo: @jinheejoung)|
Handling standout sets is all about decision making...camp out deep and wait for the standout, or go back and catch a few, hoping the standout doesn't come. I've been on both sides and I'll tell you the results:
- THE GOOD THING ABOUT WAITING DEEP is that you'll be safe from rogue waves that clear the lineup, and you might even catch one if you're bold enough to ride a monster. You also may be able to take advantage of the aftermath and have some waves to yourself if the next set allows.
- THE BAD PART is that you may end up waiting forever for these standouts, and miss a lot of great "regular" set waves in the process.
- THE GOOD THING ABOUT STAYING SHALLOW is that you'll catch the regular set along with everyone else.
- THE BAD PART is that you probably won't be in position to beat the standout and will be cleared out along with everyone else.
|Taken at El Porto, a spot notorious for standout sets (photo:http://forum.theobelisk.net)|
|The risk, the reward (photo: @jinheejoung)|
It is a silly thing to live in fear between the lineups. It's best to take what waves you're given and hold on when the big one comes. Either that, or wait for the standout and get a few massively epic rides rather than several mildly epic rides...your choice. There's a life lesson in there somewhere too, which is often the case with surfing. I'll let you decide what it is...but whatever you learn, hopefully this post will help guide your decisions when that monster approaches!