Locals Only Kooks Go Home

Locals Only Kooks Go Home!

“IT’S SUNNIED-UP,” Scott ‘Scoots’ Walter said, into his cell phone, as his truck, mid-sized, an eight foot board on the canopy rack, made a turn onto a residential street. “You there? Mark? Evidently not. Okay. I’m going dark.”
It was, and this was surprising,  going to be one of those days where it clears up just before sunset; the sideshore winds just stop. Scoots found the pullout on the bluff was empty except for the old Subaru four door. The car was a faded mildew green/gold color, any hint of former shine accidental, and most noticeable near the driver’s side door; where arms had rubbed against the roof while tying or untying a board from the obviously-homemade wooden racks. There was, if one looked, a little more shine near the hood and trunk latches.
Scoots, without checking the lineup, was looking at the car, the flattened tires. The car appeared empty, though tough to tell with the side windows darkened. And then there was the windshield.
“Fuckin’ Mark,” he said. Then, pulling alongside the Subaru, he did look at the waves, just over to his left…
“WHOA!” Scoots leaped from the truck, leaving the door open.
So clean, so lined-up. One surfer out. Only. It was The Guy, obviously, the guy who owns the car with the flat tires and “Locals Only Kooks Go Home!” in wax on the windshield.
That Guy, in the glare, two-stroked into an almost-glassy peak, angled to the left, waited until he reached the bottom to stand, that move melded with a too-casual bottom turn, rising back to mid-face, gliding higher. He kick-stalled near the top, crouched, tucked in.
“Owww!” No one, really, could hear Scoot’s uncontrollable (or merely uncontrolled) hoot. Two steps toward the bluff; look, stop. The Guy was just slicing back from the shoulder, the spray up and lost in the sunlight. Scoots walked backwards, eyes on the waves. He opened the hatch on the canopy, dropped the tailgate, pushed the twisted hose and a compressor over to get to the cracked plastic bin. He pulled it over and out, allowing it to drop to the ground. He grabbed his inside-out, cold, sandy, twisted wetsuit. Water flew when he flung the suit out and around.
A wet wetsuit will cling to your legs, your arms, and Scoots couldn’t get his untangled or pulled-up quickly enough. He’d hit a window of opportunity, and windows can close quickly. And the sun was angling toward the glistening horizon like…
“Fuckin’ Mark” he said, looking at the tires on the Subaru as he threw the straps off his board.
“Fuckin’ Mark” he said, as he threw his gloves out of the bin, joining his booties on the tailgate. Grabbing a partly-worn bar of wax, he shook his head, looked for his leash in the dark, crowded truck bed.
“Fuckin’ Mark” he said, reminding himself that he had put the stem caps back on; realizing he’d have to, at least, refill the tires before he could… “Fuck.”

THE SUN WAS MELTING at the horizon when Scoots ran the last twenty feet or so from the path at the bluff to his truck. Still, he took a moment to look back. Melting, this was the metaphor Scoots had thought of, even in the water. Music; jazz, really; from “The Endless Summer,” was playing in his head, though, looking, again, at the words waxed onto the Subaru’s windshield, a faster, newer tune took over; his background tune for riding pumping point breaks.                                                                                                                               His wetsuit pulled down, Scoops was cleaning the windows on the Subaru with a six inch broad knife and acetone-soaked rags when The Guy came up from behind him.
The Guy’s eyes, suddenly too close to his, were bloodshot. Saltwater. Dehydration. They had to be more bloodshot than his. The Guy didn’t seem overly curious about what Scoots was doing. He stepped around him, setting the board on his car’s rack.
“Your last wave…” The Guy said, “it might have been the wave of the day.”
Scoots was too busy to do more than nod; saltwater dripping on the Subaru, some squeaking from the wetsuit rubbing on the fender; scraping and smearing with serious strokes.
“Fuckin’ Mark, huh?” The Guy said, reaching around to his back, feeling for the cord for the zipper, throwing it over his shoulder, let his comment hang.  “Huh, Scoots?”
Scoots pointed at the fully inflated tires with a cold acetone rag. “I, um, have a compressor and, and a, a generator. It was…” Scoots knew it was too late to… to lie; he just couldn’t quite think of a reasonable… “Yeah, that was a great wave.”
The Guy had a key, evidently out of the little pocket most wetsuits have (though Scoots had never used one), and unlocked the driver’s side door. He reached in, unlocked the back door, then opened it, threw a blanket onto the back of the front seat, passenger side, pulled out two large aerosol cans, and set them on the roof. “Guess I’ll save these for next time. Scoots. Oh, and thanks for coming back.”
“Fuckin’ Mark,” The Guy said, slightly behind the same words from Scoots.

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“MOTION ACTIVATED,” The Guy said, dusk filling-in; that grainy grayness you can almost feel. There was some music, mid-sixties Dylan, “Blonde on Blonde,” coming from the Subaru. “Most expensive thing about the car,” The Guy had said. And there was the music rising up from the water; familiar rhythms.
Scoots and The Guy, both now dressed in almost-matching Levis and hoodies, were looking at the back of a camera now perched atop the Subaru.
“Fuckin’ Mark; man… don’t…” could be heard from the camera, the two surfers nodding. At the camera, not each other. The Subaru, now, had its hood up, all the doors open. The generator, a compressor, a gas container, hoses and wires were all spread about, seemingly kicked next to, and almost under Scoot’s truck. “Fuckin’ pussy, Scoots. Whimp-ass coward. We’re making a stand,” the camera said, in Mark’s voice.”
The Guy motioned toward the truck. “Weren’t you afraid someone might…”
“It’s Mark’s stuff.”
“Oh. Okay.” They both laughed. “Maybe Mark was a little frustrated. Crappy waves; crowded; all those city people…I mean; on a Wednesday.  Me, me maybe getting too many waves for his liking.”
“No, he’s just… Mark’s pretty much always an asshole.” There was a brief pause.  “His stuff…” Scoots made a swooping arm movement, “…He just had to tell me how he had unloaded it all so I could go surfing with him this morning. Nice of him.”
“Yeah; nice. But, the asshole thing… Well, that’ll… that… frustration. Anyone….” There was another, longer pause, The Guy was helping Scoots reload Mark’s equipment. “I know assholes. I’m… in real life… a lawyer. No, really; sold my soul years ago. Before law school, even.”
“Sales whore,” Scoots said, pointing at himself, effecting a fake smile.
“Funny,” The Guy said, my Mom… she was from the south, and she always pronounces Lawyer like…’Lie-yer. Lie.'”
“Mark’s a contract-whore,” Scoots said. “Contractor.”
“We’re all surf sluts, though; huh?”

BOTH VEHICLES, lights on, heaters going, were idling, Dylan singing, “Please don’t let on that you knew me when…” Scoots and The Guy, at the edge, were looking at the the waves, defined now, only, by the lines of soup behind the curl. “The problem with being a local,” Scoots said, pausing to think of how to phrase it…
“The problem is,” The Guy, who had yet to reveal his name, said, “is you can’t go anywhere else and still be…”
“That’s true.”
“You know Devil’s Point?” Scoot gave an ‘of course’ nod. “Ever surf there?”
Another nod. “Paddled over a couple of times. Hardly ever breaks.”
“No; not today, for sure. Wrong direction, wrong wind… anyway; if you want to… So, you know those houses by the point?”
“Yeah.”
“Third McMansion from the end; over where the rights… I mean, when they actually do break…so, um, punchy.” There was another pause, The Guy seemed almost apologetic. “Yeah; the house; wife hates it… salt spray on the windows. But, hey, you’ll never see this car there,  and I definitely don’t drive it to work.” The Guy laughed. “Actually, I have to keep it in the garage so the neighbors don’t…” Another laugh. “Assholes.” Anyway; if it’s breaking…”
“Really?”
“Yeah. Park by the greenhouse. Only, one condition, Scoots…”
“Don’t bring fuckin’ Mark?”
Now they both laughed. “No, if you bring him. Oh, and, if you do, it can’t be until after you’ve told him I said he’s a whimp-ass coward. Oh, and incidentally; you cut him off at least twice.”
“Because we’re friends.”
Scoots stuck his hand out. The Guy had a cell phone in his. “Give me your number.”
“Phones don’t work here. No reception… that’s part of why I…”
“No. No service. Fine. Contacts list. Um. Scoots. Still… Just in case. I mean; accessory, accomplice…”

“SELFIE?” THE GUY asked half a second before the camera’s light flashed.
“More evidence?” Scoots asked, wondering if he should give his actual phone number, his actual name; wondering what he’d trade to get access to a fickle, but sometimes-perfect wave.”Remember, I’m still a lawyer; and, well, we’re not friends. Scoot…” The Guy walked toward his car, reached inside the driver’s side door. A spray hit the windshield as the wipers swept across a white-but-oily spot.

The Subaru pulled out ahead of the pickup, Scoots still pondering whether The Guy meant that, because they’re not friends, he shouldn’t take off in front of him when… yeah; Devil’s Point. Yeah. The cell phone chimed when the truck got closer to town.  The third of four voicemails began, “Surf slut Scott, it’s surf slut Jonah…”

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New Year, Almost

image-128I’m still scheming on how to fit in one more session before the end of the year. You probably are, also. Okay, I’m not going anywhere tomorrow morning, so… wait, Sunday’d be 2017. I am going to figure out where I did my surfing over the last year, as soon as I find the calendar I used for the first months, only transferring the number of sessions.

Remember, the whole realsurfers thing started, or, at least the notion of realness, because I read that real skiers go at least 30 times a year. So, I am real. At least. Best to you in the coming year; may you luck into some perfect conditions, and tuck into a few perfect waves.

Gifts My Father Gave Me

“Resilient,” my sister Mary Jane (always Janie to me) said when she called with the news, expected but still unwanted, on Tuesday morning, five days before Christmas; “that’s how he held out so long.” “Yeah, he’s, was,” I said, “always that.” Resilient.
Here’s what my father gave me: His name, half of my DNA (let me add that he pulled the car over, short of the hospital, and aided in my birth), and, though I never wanted it, and told him so, his work ethic; that belief that something must always be accomplished. Something.
I inherited,  hopefully, some of my father’s strength, his stubborn commitment to move forward, to carry on, which he did; despite injuries and setbacks, tragedies and disasters, two wars and the grind of getting up each day, going from his full time job to his ‘two nights a week and Sundays’ job, or to one or another of his part time gigs, working to support his family. Seven of us.
Resilience? Yeah; and, as I already stated, a certain stubbornness.
If there is honor in hard work, my father was honorable. I have, even recently, bragged that, at ninety-two years old, he was still working on repairing other people’s clocks, and he did up until even more recently. There are several clocks he didn’t quite get to (the owners were notified); and that, I know, bothered him. Not being strong, fully able, and being, eventually, dependent on others; that probably bothered him the most. Angered him, even.
APPRECIATIONS:
Fortunately, my brother Ed, and my sisters, and, in particular, Janie, a registered nurse, were able to stay with our father as his health deteriorated. Very grateful for that. The rest of his children, and our half-sister from our father’s first, brief marriage, were able to visit and hang out with my father over the last month. And my dad had a support group of friends he made over his years in Southwest Washington. And, since I’m giving ‘shout outs,’ the doctors and staff at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria did a tremendous job helping my Dad and dealing with his extended family and friends. Sorry we made so much noise during that Seahawks game.
STORIES AND LIES:
I have to add (adding, again) that my father was quick to laugh, and ever ready to tell even a self-deprecating story. Here’s one of his: This guy says, ‘Hey, Dence, what’d’ya know?’ And I say, ‘Not much,” and, as I’m walking away, I hear him say, ‘That’s for sure.’. And my Dad would chuckle, check for reactions. He was also capable of giving a look that would back Clint Eastwood down. A child didn’t want to see that look directed at him or her, a look more of disappointment than anger. One especially wouldn’t want to see that look twice for the same offense. Anger, I’ve since learned, is most often at or with oneself.
Lying. This was, both my parents said, “Worse than stealing.” Another story: “So, Dad; remember that time my stupid surfing friends were supposed to stay in our motel room in Leucadia, and they said we’d sleep on the beach, and we went down to the campground, and… when you had to come pick up all five of us at the Sheriff’s office in Carlsbad; and I said we were looking for vending machines…” “Yeah.” “And you said we must have been looking for girls…” “Uh huh.” “And Mom said, ‘no, if they said they were looking for vending machines…’ Well… we were looking for girls.” “Knew it.” “Yeah, I know you did. Thanks for not pushing it.”
Anyone who knows even a few things about my father’s life would have to say he was as lucky as he was tough, resilient. He survived war and illness (malaria, twice), and accidents, at least one ‘incident’ in which he had a large chain wrapped around his head and shoulders. He never really talked to me about his war experiences, from Guadacanal to Korea. I know much of it was horrific; but his attitude, even stated (in reference to increased focus on PTSD), was that, “You just have to get past it.” I’m not saying one can; he carried scars, wounds. He and I have never spoken of the car accident in which my mother died. I do remember we went into the back yard, his face still heavily bruised. I read everything on his face, and, I have to assume, he read mine as well.
SOMETHING ELSE I feel compelled to add: If I have a regret, and it’s probably more common than not; with my father being ‘at work’ for most of my childhood, it’s that I was so busy ‘working’ over the last years, with him three and a half hours away. I’d call, sporadically, talk to him until he said he had to go. When I did go to visit, he was still busy with his clocks, I had nothing I had to do down there, and usually went surfing while he worked. We’d meet up to go the the Pig N Pancake (where he was well known), or watch an old western or something (not Fox News, which he preferred) on TV. It was great.
I did, I must, must add, get only half my DNA from my father.

Grandpa

Erwin A. Dence, Sr. about the age he was when I was born. I wouldn’t recommend taking off in front of him (either).

HERE’S A BONUS STORY: I read the above piece to Trish, who has known my father since 1968; and she reminded me of another story, from when she and I had been dating about eight months.  My Mother was, perhaps, more embarrassed because Trish was there. It was my brother Jon’s birthday, a Saturday, and my Dad brought home a tiny, cheap cake; the cheapness pointed out by my Mom. My dad said something about money. Money? Yeah. Money. Suddenly, a karate chop split the 50s era dinette table, two halves crashing down. Trish and I disagree as to whether the cake was also chopped, but, after my Dad fixed the table, he went back to town, came back with… yeah… the same cake. No one said a word about cheapness or money. Happy birthday, Jon.
I think I have mentioned the stubbornness, sort of not getting too much into the passion and the pride. But now, now I am thinking about it. Gifts.

Christmas

image-127image-125image-118image-119That LOVE is real, resilient, persistent… this is what we all CELEBRATE. May you catch a few waves that push you, propel you, maybe even briefly cover you, down the line.  May you have those moments where all the pettiness and ugliness and worry and posturing and resentment… whoosh… gone; you’re weightless, floating, drifting, slipping; and you can’t help but scream, even if it’s inaudible… even if it isn’t.

 

Some Of What is In, and Some Not in the RealSurfers Coloring Book…

…Mostly stuff that’s in it, with some new drawing added (there are, um, uh, 60 drawings, plus the cover, so, 4 more) and some color versions, at least two of which, sorry to admit, I colored-in before I scanned the black and white versions. I’ve had problems adapting to the new editor at WordPress, mostly that I can’t seem to put images in to a piece at less than full size. So, I went back to the older editing version.

We’ll see how this works. I just printed 18 (would have been 20 but the copy machine jammed and the woman, Liz, at the Printery in Port Townsend, who has been very very helpful, seemed stressed to the max, so, “Hey, you know; 18 is probably enough.” This is the Christmas, 2016 edition, and some are already promised.

I will be getting back to the continuing saga of Stephen Davis, not giving me much in the way of photos from Hawaii; possibly wanting to return some time, and, really, it’s not California; secrets have been kept… but, if you have to have a copy, and you do (and I’m still figuring out if I should risk setting up a PayPal account… you can contact me at realsurfersdotnet@gmail.com

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the ghost of Rincon, adapted from a Ron Stoner photo of Miki Dora, both feeling the music

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My only woman, Trish (work and surfing, oh, and drawing and writing are the 'other' women) said the dark swoop (and I was trying to keep this simple, possibly for a t shirt design) looked like a big sea snake or something, so, now the drawing's all more complicated

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sorry to interrupt my own story, but in this version I added color to the original larger drawing.

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Hydrosexual Stephen Davis Goes South- PART II- 12/10/16

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Here’s a spot. Evidently not a secret spot. Steve did not surf here with 50 or more other rabid, aggro, or merely fun/crowd loving enthusiasts; but, rather, surfed a pretty empty lineup without a lot of other position-jockey-ers. When I asked him how he could find an uncrowded spot, he said, “Hey, I’m not from around here; I don’t know why everyone was out there. I don’t understand at all.”

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There are a couple of other shots with landmarks that might reveal which spot this is. No, it’s not Seaside, even on a Saturday, but is south (I think) of Santa Cruz. Okay, it’s Morro Bay (probably). I spoke to Stephen later, when it was already dark up here, still light, but foggy, at a break he was watching. I think it’s Cayucos.

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Below is a shot of Steve pig-dogging a super-top-secret spot in the PNW, aka GNW.  As in, Rarely but rarely (and not currently- rarely, rarely) great.

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UPDATE- Sunday morning, 12/11/16.                                                                                                        It was too dark for Stephen to get a shot at Rincon, barely breaking, but longboardable. With a dropping swell,  I don’t know how he resisted. He was sorely tempted, but wanted to get through LA before… you know, before. And he did. He thought about Trestles, but opted for San Onofre. Got in the water with quite a few others spread over a hundred yards or so, south to north. Caught some peaks. I have to edit, but Trish loves all the photos. Yeah, I do, too.

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UPDATE: 12/12/16- Steve, his van in long term parking, is enroute to Hawaii. He and I had talked about Swamis and Pipes and other North San Diego spots. He was a bit confused about where actual Pipes is, but did hang out on the fence on the bluff for a while, surfers doing the ‘talking story’ thing in the parking lot. Unable to find parking at Swamis, obviously not breaking, with “some sort of circus or something, people doing yoga under the trees… kind of confusing what was going on there.”  Here’s a shot from the bluff. I told Trish that maybe it’s my old friend Ray Hicks and his wife, Carol, strolling the beach.

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UPDATE- 12/14/16- Having flown out of San Diego early Monday morning, Stephen is in Hilo, Hawaii. I called him this morning to see if he’s watching the Pipeline Masters. Yes. Surfing? Yes, but mostly body surfing. I asked him to send me a photo of the shop Oceana’s father owns. “Haven’t gone there yet.” “Why not?” “Too busy.” “Where are you staying?” “Next door to the shop.” “Oh… sure. Maybe you can take a photo?” “Okay.”

Here’s a photo of a beach. I already forgot the name. Probably, judging from the heads of those in the beach chairs, heavily localized and probably secret.

img_0711 Steve identified the spot as “Magic Sands.”

Hydrosexual Stephen Davis Goes South: Part I

There is just too much tension and guilt on the fickle Strait of Juan de Fuca right now. TENSION caused by too many surfers showing up any time there’s a chance of actual waves actually breaking, GUILT from believing that talking about, and worse, writing about, and way worse, sending photos of anything bigger than a dribbler, sharing too much information with too many people.

SHARING; who’d have guessed it’d be a bad thing? We’re all taught to share from pre-school on… but Damn it, we don’t want to share. We’re surfers, ready to go it alone. That is, if we have to.

BUT, maybe we’re all POPULATION DENIERS. I’ve often said “Uphere (the Pacific Northwest) Now is like Downthere (Southern California) Then (the mid sixties, still post-Gidget, like it’s her fault).” And it still is, and it has been- a low surfer/spot ratio; call a few friends to have someone to go with; an opportunity, an adventure, sometimes finding a good and uncrowded spot to surf; and a chance to make new friends. But, it’s now more crowded, and likely to continue in that direction, but, with the coast being pretty harsh, and jobs mostly inland; the chances of… yeah, more crowds, it’s happening; and sorry, it’s not ALL my fault.

In an attempt to chill the fuck out,  I’ll never post a photo of a recognizable NW spot, or name even a well known spot, and, maybe you remember my heading photo, riding a seemingly-endless wave. GONE. Obviously too many kooks saw that shot, asked ‘where is that; I gots to go there,’ and, boom, 37 people in the water.

I did start this site to get my drawing out there, and to write about my former surfing experiences; never really thinking that I’d have such a vibrant current surfing life. And I’ve loved it, and do love it; but now the BLAME game is in full play, and I’m on more than one list. Gidget, people aren’t hip to Gidget; we now blame people who are just too damn chatty, too exuberant. Well, most of my surfing career has been on my own, surfing in crowds, none of the members of which could be classified as friends. GHETTO MENTALITY. I wasn’t loud in the water; I competed for the best waves. I’ve done it; and I can still do it.

It is fun surfing with friends. More fun, even; all bullshit aside; and there is that TRIBAL thing; most of us willing to admit we want to be part of that often-dysfunctional group. “Oh, you surf? Hmmmm.”

SO, I’ll be following my friend, Hydrosexual Stephen Davis, currently on a solo trip towards Mexico. I’ll be doing some drawings ala Griffin/Stoner (Who?), but right now, I’m posting a few shots he’s sending me. If it’s your local spot, or you think it’s a secret; I don’t care. It’s not like you and I are friends.

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Don’t let the lack of crowds fool you, though Stephen said he surfed a really good point break with seven or eight others out, and everyone “Was pretty nice. Sharing.” Whoa; there’s that word again.

Do We Mourn the Waves We Missed More Than…

…we celebrate the waves we rode. Expand that to sessions. I went down to the Southern Washington/Columbia River area a few days ago because my 92 year old father has been in and out of hospitals over the past months, and was in the hospital in Astoria, just over the bridge from Chinook, Washington, where he’s lived for the past thirty years or so.

And I got some waves. Don’t ask me where, but, by a unique and unusual circumstance, Adam Wipeout James and Clint (formerly of PT, now of PA) were also in the area, as was a particular set of tide/swell/wind factors that… that, with some magic and a rented board (while Adam was on the one he is selling me, not paid for yet), allowed me to join them, while my Dad was resting in between visits from  various groupings of five of his eight children, a grandson, a son-in-law, for what turned out to be a great session.

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So… great. I might have missed the session if I hadn’t rented a board, I might have given up when the wind was squalling sideshore; but I hung in long enough for the conditions to clean up and, even if Adam hadn’t said I ‘may’ have had the wave of the session, it was all great. It was my wave of the session, the kind of session that might, and should hold a surfer through a week of winds blowing totally the wrong way, lack of swell, lack of opportunity to go even if there was a swell.

SHOULD. My backup plan had been to go somewhere closer on Monday. Monday night I get a photo, texted from one friend who got it from another. I was somewhere I could have been, but wasn’t. Hence the question.

Even during the session on Sunday, I saw a local do the classic surfer thing; looking over the really nice wave he was on to see what the next wave was doing.

MEANWHILE, I’m trying to stick to my ‘no naming’ policy, particularly on this site.  Adam Wipeout, possibly feeling some guilt about having revealed, in the past, and strictly in confidence, something about not-quite-secret spots to a few ‘friends’ (and, confession, I did lose out in the bargain with Clint and Adam, spilled the guts about a spot four hours away the next day, but only in exchange for other inside information. It’s not like fifty friends are headed down there any time soon.)… anyway, Adam has done a little policing of folks who instagram photos and  short but breathy reviews of spots, sort of a “NO PIMPING POLICY.” Maybe Seattle Surfers on Facebook could adopt something like this.

MEANWHILE, it’s ski season; I don’t ski; but man, it looks like fun. Where should I go? When? Is there a cool apres’ ski hangout spot? What should I wear to, you know, be like, like I belong there?

OH, and the guy I rented the board from tried to push a soft top on me. No way, man. Looked me up and down. “I’ve been board surfing since 1965.” He showed me to his store room, pulled a board off a lower rack. Not quite the Hobie, but, yeah, it worked.

OH, and, really, we all want to share surf stories with our friends, including where we went, the conditions under which the spot seemed to work; maybe the key is to have fewer FRIENDS.

RAJA On Seattle Surfers Facebook Heroes

The changing rules of surf etiquette (and the ones that haven’t changed) with the influx of new surf ‘enthusiasts’ in the Northwest (and everywhere, no doubt, though I care most about the area I’m in), have prompted a lot of discussion lately. Evidently Facebook, with sites like SEATTLE SURFERS, has prompted some of this. Surf forecasting is getting better, but calling forty or fifty of your closest friends to go with you is kind of self-defeating; if you want a few waves for yourself.

Around here, it’s ever-more-unacceptable to call your friends from the beach, if you’re at a beach where cell service works, and discussion has gotten to the point where one shouldn’t brag or gloat about a good session until the next day. Tough, with most ‘windows’ closing after a few hours, and gloating being so much fun.

SO, when I got a ‘reply’ from Raja, famous for sticking my (would have been temporarily) lost SUP paddle in the pilings at… if you don’t know the spot… too bad… I decided to put the comment as a POST. Oh, and Raja, the reason you haven’t seen me since the famous “Swell of the Summer” is I haven’t been surfing there. Okay a couple of times. Oh, and I have gotten over the incident, can see it may have, to quite a few people, seemed like justice; and I have tried to be more sharing with others, tough as it is to let a good wave go past; and, if you think Raj is a serious badass… great.

SO:

Hi Erwin- been awhile since I’ve seen you around.. It’s kind of funny/serendipitous, I’m reading this post and comments section right after I found and joined that Seattle surfers Facebook group.. I think your voice would be an excellent addition to the conversation they’ve been having there lately, about the etiquette of Internet surf talk. Most of the folks in that group haven’t been surfing for very long and are unaware that posting swell/tide formulas, directions to formerly “secret” spots, bragging about illegal camping, or even naming spots is considered very bad form in the surf world. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that they are used to everything in this world being “open source” now, with free information about everything instantly accessible. The idea that not all information is for everyone, that you have to put in time, sweat, tears, and prove yourself before you are initiated into secret knowledge, is alien to many now.
Some people have been trying to educate the neophytes about this, I think your voice would definitely be appreciated in the conversation.

BACK TO ME: I could actually do a FACEBOOK page, and probably should; but probably won’t. Meanwhile, Westport looks really good for… forever… and the vibe on the beach and in the parking lot is so, so social. Meanwhile… see you again, Raj.

OH, and I can’t help but add that surfers who haven’t learned something about when and where to surf from knowledge from experience, including skunkings, who may have actually gone to Surf Camp, had Surf Lessons (along with other camps and lessons paid for by their parents, or, even, themselves); probably do enjoy hanging out in the water, sort of waiting for an easy wave amid casual and friendly coffee shop conversation.  AND, surfing is fun; but, really, isn’t it ski season yet? AND, skiing has Lodges where you can hang out and brag and gloat in the latest gear. I mentioned that surfing doesn’t have a Lodge setup, and the person I mentioned it to said, “WHOA, that would be a great idea.” Yeah, in Westport, where it’s, as I said, always awesome…. GO, go now!