If I’m not under the water I’m on top of it. I have been surfing a few years now and know what I can do and what I can’t. I am a longboarder so to the uninitiated that’s a super long board 9ft + that means its easier to catch a wave but a little harder to do tricks on. I don’t do tricks so it’s not an issue for me. Longboarding usually, but not always uses smaller waves so think head high and below and anyway that’s what I am most comfortable in. Sometimes you surf and its shit to be honest, but sometimes its hard to describe in words, its so good.
Depending on the state of the tide, swell and wind you can be paddling a lot and still just not get there, as the wave is either peaking too early and closing out/breaking into white water. Foamy white water is all fine and well to bring you back to shore but what you really look for is glassy green walls to carve up and down on or trim and glide your board over. Then, if feeling good and solid you can try to walk out to the front of the board and hang ten or five, so one foot or two feet over the front edge or nose. I can’t do this. At present I usually only get to a foot of the front of the board before I have to shuffle back or lose the wave, fall off. My favourite thing is to hunker back down so I am really low to the board and try to control it that way and if I’m lucky trail a hand through the green wall of glass as I go.
At worst its a decent workout for the arms and body. At best its Zen.
The waves have been created by powerful low pressure storms way off in the Atlantic, the earths rotation has sent this swell in to land in one direction or the other. It’s traveled hundreds and hundreds of miles to get here keeping its energy intact. As it hits shallower water it starts to peak up, just before it breaks and disperses all its latent energy. As you finally stand up on this wave, you are connected to the wave, harnessing its energy, feeling part of its energy, you and you alone are now part of the earths vital force.
On a recent day at a local quiet beach I pretty much had the place to myself. The sun was shining down onto a glassy calm sea only interrupted by the soft, slow, regular, pulsing swell. Imagine yourself relaxed on the board.The wave caught easily with just a few paddles, nice slow bottom turn to bring you to the shoulder and the good wave keeping its shape all the time. As you glide in, looking down you see the ripples in the sand below and that shimmering effect of the sun on the sea through clear water. Dancing, mesmerizing, spiritual, connectedness and you standing Olympian above it all. All too soon it’s over. No drama, just a short paddle back out and wait for the next one.
It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does, like the Guinness ad it’s worth the wait.