Talking Surf Etiquette With god…

…not God God, little g god. I’ve spoken to him before, and really should give some context here. I met Nick several years ago, the day Raja took my loose SUP paddle and stuck it into some pilings as a rarely-breaking spot named Twin Rivers. Nick, when I asked what he, new to the sport, liked about surfing, he said, “When I’m on a wave, I feel like God.”

“Oh.” A few waves later, I asked if he meant he felt like “a god.” “Well,” he said, “that would be give it an entirely different meaning.” “Oh, yeah; guess so.”

Nick loaned/gave me a paddle when, after quite an embarrassing and fruitless attempt to retrieve mine. I’d say I still have it, but, after a couple of weeks, after Stephen climbed on the pilings and retrieved mine, I loaned it to Adam Wipeout. He ran into Nick/god (and it seems, to me, a bit ironic that ‘old Nick’ is a nickname for the Devil, possibly given to him, as the first nickname, by, I don’t know, God) at another spot that almost never breaks, both of them walking back from around a point and against the wind. When Adam mentioned the trees hanging, precariously, on the cliffs above them, and what would happen if they suddenly fell, Nick said, “Well, I’d die a happy man.”


That’s Nick in the middle, no waves in the background

EVIDENTLY Nick had been pretty pleased with the rides that had taken him around the point.

NOW, I have run into Nick on several other occasions when I showed up at a spot that, really, so rarely breaks, and there were some of the other surfers already there, and Nick would say something about how Tim or Big Dave or Tugboat Bill or some other member of the non-club of surfers suggested, since the waves were or were almost rideable, that I might show up, and, maybe, I’d behave.



EVIDENTLY the word on the beach, partially explaining my inability to follow the new rules of surf etiquette, is that I have POOR IMPULSE CONTROL.  Nick explained what one should do when waiting in a ‘que,’ and there are three surfers closer to the peak, and there’s a three wave set. “Oh, so I’d be first in line for the next set?” “Yes.” “Oh. Yeah; but I completely miss that set?” “Yes. You get it.” “No, guess I don’t.”

“Someone said you lack impulse control.” “You do?” “No, Erwin; you do.” “Oh.” I guess, when I see a set approaching, even though I frequently call out which wave I want, as in “Number three,” and I did not wait at the corner of the pack at the peak until everyone sitting closer had a go at a wave… wait; for all I know, if there are more that three surfers in the lineup, it might not be within the developing rules to call out a wave. It seems reasonable to me; preferable to paddling, yelling “mine, mine.”

YEAH, I might go for number two. Poor impulse control.  I had to text the defining phrase to Keith Darrock because I kept forgetting it. “That sounds about right,” Keith said. “Oh, totally,” Trish said. “What does that EVEN MEAN?” Stephen Davis asked.

I don’t really know, but, since I was the only one out on the day I heard this, it wasn’t really an issue. I waited for number three a couple of times, probably looking over the back to see if there was a number four.

MEANWHILE, I’ll try to get the paddle back from Adam. Don’t really want to owe too many favors to god. Or Nick.


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