Monday, October 22, 2012

Surf Magic

If you go into the water pissed off, you usually don't come out that way. At least that's how it goes for me. Last Friday? Perfect example. Come home from work to find out that all those flapper valves that I should have replaced ended up leaking away close to two hundred bucks worth of water, the roof over my back room (I'd call it a guest house if it wasn't only about 600 square feet and stuffed with stand up boards, stinky wetsuits and moldy CamelBak tubes) allowed another two hundred bucks worth of water damage to run right through it and my dog set me back more than three bills in dental work (not kidding- I'll post the photos of the ten, that's right ten, teeth the vet had to remove).  Talk about going in reverse, that day alone was a $750 walk in the wrong direction. 

Now that I reflect back on it, maybe pissed wouldn't be the right way to describe my frame of mind. Maybe just sad, a little bit beaten down, pretty much defeated. Like when that little rat took away Tigger's springs. 

Nothing left to do but paddle out, so I load up the truck and creak down to the beach. And when I get there it just looks like crap. Foggy, cold- you couldn't even see the surf but you could clearly hear the horn of off Point Loma. I hate those foghorns they make the loneliest sound in the world. Whatever. Wiggle into the wetsuit (an additional insult, the water just dropped ten degrees- bye summer), hop onto the board and head out towards the couple heads I can just make out through the haze. 

"Dude, John, it's actually kind of good out here- just wait, there's sets coming through" Says one of the little groms sitting in the gloom. "Just wait, you'll see".
The essence of Surf Magic
Actually, there are these little, clear-water, shin high walls, zipping off the outer bar and pushing through into the deep hole next to the pier. You can barely see them through the fog, but, shoot on the 9'0 paddleboard it is kinda fun gliding along up on the nose then stepping back for one satisfying little round house. 

Okay, I can work with this- let's see if another one comes.... and off we go again: swoop into the little peak, one quick pump off the bottom, walk to the tip, dip a paddle and crank a cutback. Repeat. This is fun. The tide builds, the wave get's better- the fog starts getting patchy and the sun starts poking through. I don't even feel the water anymore and I could care less about the hundred dollar bills that I was hemorrhaging early in the day. Life became really simple right then- it was surf magic scraping me free from all my worries.

That's how surfing's always been for me. The magic is out there, you've just got to remember to get out and find it.


  1. Good stuff John. So true, and very well written. Also love the pic of the A-Frame at IB.

  2. It is true most of the time...except with my luck I would have probably ended up in a fight out there in the fog.