I saw a bumper sticker today that said “comfortably bummed” which summarized the feeling from today’s surf. Hope the owner of that car doesn’t mind me stealing that phrase to describe that surf session.
I got there and it wasn’t half as good as the buoy said it would be but I did due diligence and got in anyway turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse- it’s not like I’m going to drive all that way and not get in. I went over here then over there looking for some wave that could carry me for more than fifteen feet. I found none but as we all know the ocean conditions never stay the same for long and it got a little bigger and a little more organized and I actually caught some worthwhile waves. Ok, not worthwhile but close. The three songs I posted over the last week merged into one for four hours forming a continual disorganized and nonsensical stream of good reggae in my head as I pondered the wisdom of being there today. Surfing won the day.
One wave I took scared a fish out of the water in front of my board- now that’s never happened to me before. The silver scales flashed in the strong afternoon sun with white splashes of foam and green water. I musta scared the living shit outta that fish! It was about a foot to the right of the tip of my board.
I know that when I’m surfing I’m happy. It’s nice to have good waves but it’s ok if they suck also. I see cool stuff, I enjoy the beauty of where I am, I love the ripping and tearing of my shoulder muscles and the total highs I have for days afterward. I absolutely love seeing beautiful women surf, especially the one today- so cool! I know that each surf session builds a stronger foundation for the next, so it’s always ok if conditions ain’t the best.
I learned that skiing on shitty icy conditions in the east prepares one for great snow in the West. If you can ski black diamonds on killington when it’s windblown icy hard packed conditions, then you can do any bowl at Jackson hole, Vail, Aspen when it’s deep powder. That’s the point I keep in mind when I found myself skiing on shitty snow, and that’s what I tell myself in shitty waves! Learn how to surf in shitty waves and surfing in good waves will be a breeze.
I got to the point in skiing where I was pretty damn good (as far as I was concerned), but one morning when I was in line I saw how many people were in front of me. I was wearing about $2500 (conservative) worth of clothing/equip and by the time I computed how much $ in clothing/equip was being worn by those in front of me I became totally disgusted with that sport. “Lift opens at nine, closes at four.” “Can’t go here, can’t go there.” What does a lift ticket cost now- I don’t even want the answer.
I skied all over Europe and in the west and had a lot of good times but after that quick math, I did a few more runs, packed my skiis etc. up into my truck and drove home, never to ever ski ever again. There has not been ONE winter day where I have yearned to ski, and I have surfing to thank for that. As much as I despise what skiing has become, I have skiing to thank for helping me get better at surfing.
I find the above “crappy condition analysis” an excellent coping mechanism, a great way to keep a positive attitude, as well as it being 100% the truth! So when I hear people griping about how crummy the waves are, I totally get it... yet there is my perspective also, one that I find helpful. Sometimes it’s the only thing you got going when things aren’t working out the way you had planned.
So yeah, today as I surfed in pretty sectiony shitty waves, I was BUMMED, but COMFORTABLY so.
I see some pretty awesome sunsets also coming home from surf (uncapturable on a dumb cellphone camera)... totally irresponsible taking pics like this but, eh, I’m a totally irresponsible person. The meteorologist in me figures that the high pushes the low out to sea (making conditions great for surf), and the clearing skies results in these burning sunsets- almost every time.
Hi, my name is
David Benjamin and I started swimming in Chappaqua, NY., swam for Badger swim team, Mercersburg Academy, NC State University, then Westport YMCA masters. I got bored of the ol' back and forth of competitive swimming and the high cost of skiing. Surfing took over and I never looked back.