Today’s Music: The Beach Boys
Today’s Adventure: SURFING!!!!
Let me just start this post by saying I Suck.
I smoke a pack a day of Marlboro
Lights Golds. I do as little regular exercise as I possibly can (though if pushing remote control buttons were an Olympic Sport, well I’d still lose, but not by a lot).
I should not be out surfing.
But God help me, I love it.
So I went out today with my surf bag (prepacked and ready to go) and my board. I had all the tools I needed. Except my contacts.
Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem.
I made it to the beach in good time, and unpacked my gear. I was smart enough to wear my wetsuit on the drive, saving me an embarrassing 10 minutes trying to wriggle into it on the beach.
Waxed up my board, and in I went.
It was beautiful out there. Light wind, 1 – 3 ft rollers coming in and breaking cleanly. A perfect day for surfing.
I paddled out to where the other surfers were, about half a dozen or so, and took my place in the line-up. I sat up on my board and started looking for waves.
In came a beautiful one, I laid down, started paddling to turn myself around and… missed it.
Tried again. Same thing.
I called out to the surfer next to me
“Hey, let me ask you something”
“Sure”, he said.
“How do you turn your board around” I asked.
“What do you mean?” he answwered.
“Well, we’re all sitting here on our boards, facing out” I explained. “When I see a wave, but can’t spin around fast enough to catch it.”
He thought a moment. “Sit all the way on the back of your board” he said, demonstrating. “When you see your wave, a couple of quick paddles will get you around”.
“Oh, Thanks”, I said, understanding.
And it worked. Next wave I saw, I slid back on the board, spun around, laid down and paddled to catch it. And pearled.
For those that don’t know, Pearling, in surfing, is when the surfer dismounts his board by sliding off the front of it.
Hilarious. Not fun. But hilarious to watch.
The next two that I caught, I managed to “kneeboard” in. I went back out, hoping for one more ride before I packed it in.
In came a big one, maybe 4′. I was set up on it, paddling furiously, but I guess I was a moment too late.
The wave crashed down on me, knocking me off the board, then a surge of froth washed down my throat and pushed me under.
I waited a moment for it to pass, then popped up, caught my breath and started for the shore. Wheezing. Like an old lady. Or a pack-a-day smoker.
I couldn’t get enough air in. At all. I was gasping.
I stood on the shore for the next five minutes, trying to catch my breath.
When I had it, I started to take off my wetsuit. And falling on my ass. Twice.
Hey, you try disentangling yourself from six feet of neoprene tangled around your ankles, and when your arms and legs have turned to jelly.
With that finally done, I loaded up the car, and headed off to Tap & Grill for fish tacos. But they don’t open till noon.
But I’ll be back.
So what did we learn today?
– Sit on the tail of the board to turn around fast enough to catch the wave.
– Stop smoking!!!!
– Do a pushup, for crissakes!
Learn from my mistakes, folks. Lord knows I won’t…