Extract from my journal focusing on a particular period of my life, surfing almost every week often more than once with my mates; my first ventures outside the house after lockdown other than mundane neighbourhood walks: good times?
Wednesday 29th April
After weeks of gorgeous, tantalising weather, the south coast of England is battered by borderline-torrential rain and merciless 30mph winds. While the residents of this timid town of Southwick burrow away, at the harshness of government regulations as well as harsh gales, a blithe teenage boy emerges, to surf the incoming swell of the century!
Implored by his mother to stay away from the waves, the boy is torn between family obligations, such as playing newly bought ‘Just Dance 2019’ with his little sister, and appeasing the stoke demons within him. More like ‘guardian angel’ types than demons, actually. After reassuring his mother that risk will be minimised, by surfing when the tide is going out, the boy gets the thumbs up to get out on the 4-6 feet wonder that is forecasted for Thursday, the last day of April. The stoke demons/angels approve.
^^Forcing drama into the monotony of lockdown; feels good to get writing though. Creatively. Sometimes it actually isn’t worth taking ages to think up a whole new world with new characters and personalities. People are interesting enough. Real life has the best stories. You just spice it up with dramatic words and things.
So yeah. 4-6 feet on Magic Seaweed, surf forecasting app. Winds not exceeding 27mph, which isn’t terrible. Hoping it won’t be messy.
Update: It was gnar.
Monday 22th June
Went to the place that Frankenstein’s monster goes to at 4am this morning: The Sublime.
That crafty Mother Nature did a brilliant job this morning. So good it even had me doing involuntary screams and hoots after every good wave.
The rush we’d get when someone would spot that ‘yummy’ (a banging incoming wave) on the horizon was immense, and there was a prudence we slowly gained with these unpredictable, white-maned beasts; able to identify a ‘catfish wave’ = a tantalising wave on the horizon that looks big from a distance, but is actually baiting you hard, and by the time it gets to you it will have died.
‘I see you ocean, I see you’ – Ruari’s reminder to the ocean that he sees it trying to coax him into its alluring mind games, but he will not fall for it.
The combination of these things, and a pretty idyllic sunrise, made for a gorgeous session. Wavegasms constantly.
This was Monday (today). Sunday, moreover, wasn’t innocent on the wavegasm-causing part. Sunday was 2-4 feet as well, we surfed at New Beach, got domed in the tum by a paddleboarder but apart from that, it was epic. Crowds weren’t too much of a problem; on days with 40+ surfers in the water, the ‘Old Man Southwicks’ (surfers who are 50 and over who are generally grumpy because their surfing prowess is declining and they know it, as well as being very self-reserved about their waves and don’t want the youngsters like us stealing them. They hate us because we remind them of their youth.) and semi-pros tend to be less generous with the waves. Some older surfers can be lovely though. But crowds weren’t a problem this morning. Oh god no. We surfed Our Beach. I capitalised that because we’ve officially taken ownership of this spot and named it after us. Just in front and to the right of Carats: empty, glassy and gorgeous clean zingers all to ourselves from 4am til half 6. Sublime. 2 sunrise swims in a row. Going to go collapse now. Peace.