Debriefing Hydro-Sx’l Stephen Davis…

…and two new realsurfers Coloring Book possibles. First, Stephen is back in the cold, snowy and great Pacific Northwest after, I’m not sure, but a long time away, Hawaii, Baja, California, Oregon. He hit Seaside yesterday, just in time for slight offshores to change back to howling onshores. I actually tried to find him in the parking lot on the… geez, is this a secret?… camera. The movement of the camera was too jerky and I was getting competing phone calls about work, real life stuff; never caught him or his van (the camera seems to usually be focused in on something other than the actual waves; which is fine) did catch the beginning of another round of sleet.

Next, evidently, after making some money, Stephen is planning on returning to Hawaii, but not before he fills in a few details and shares a few stories.

Money. Yeah. If he’d had more, Steve says, he’d have stayed longer. Not much sympathy from me, actually.

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As always, I showed Trish the new illustrations. “Uh huh,” she said of the “speed line” drawing, “You should add some flowers,” of the second one. “It’d be more… I mean, I’m thinking this is black and white and psychedelic, but, flowers…?” “People like flowers,” she said. “Uh huh” I said. Saving one without flowers, I’m going to add some flowers. Like everything, more later.

Random Shots in the Parking Lot

You can win in the water and still lose the session in the parking lot. I was discussing this with Stephen Davis, still couch/spot surfing, with some kite surfing sessions thrown in, up from Baja to the Great Northwest. Surfers may spend as much or more time in parking lots and road pullouts and overlooks and on the beach than in the water. And, perhaps because surfing… no, I really don’t know why it gets so competitive, but we have to admit it does.

First, here’s a drawing:

Since it wasn’t clear it’s a wave from high above, not some random abstraction, I colored it. Since my scanner repeatedly failed to scan the cropped color image. Okay, still abstract… with explanation.

So, let’s see if Steve’s account of an incident at an unnamed Central California coast spot comes through. It’s exactly how I received it:

4people out at rincon
Stephen Davis

Yesterday, 10:33 PM

Oops. I accidentally hit send.

So then I bundle my shit up and I’m chilling in the van and this redneck with a huge beer gut pulls in and slowly drives by the front of my van mean mugging the shit out of me.
I’m thinking, “who the fuck is this guy?” Now.
Whatever, I was done kiting.
Jesse broke it down. I guess beer gut grew up surfing a heavy central coast reef and is a local there his whole life.
So decided to take his localism act into the kite scene.
He fucked with Jesse a bunch when he was learning and now talks to him i guess. He reputedly speared his kiteboard into a guy and broke his board tip off in the guys hip. That’s how “cool” he is.
I laugh because none of these assholes are Pomo or Lajolla Indian and even if they were they still wouldn’t own the sea or the air or even the beach in truth.
So we’re all sposed to suck up to this shithead?
No gracias.
Not this lifetime.
He kept staring at me and drinking beer and laughing with his “bro”.
The end
No big deal.
Nothing really happened other than I felt sorry for beer guts life path of bullying.
Sad.
Another alcoholic heading for death with no clue what love or kindness is.
Not my business.
S
Sent from my iPhone
 Stephen Davis

Yesterday, 4:59 PMYou

Hey Erwin.

Ya, so here is what happened.I was hanging at the beach with Jesse. Drinking coffee. We met Stacy and this other sup guy and talked about what the wind would do.

Stacy told us about cool sand bars that were working and where. He also told us about cool kite spots where there are fewer people. We were all chill.
So later, when the wind came up, I asked Jesse if I was going to bum everyone out by going out and being a kook. He said, “not at all, don’t worry about it.” We both thought it was chill.
I took my time and set up slow. Went out and had fun. No one seemed to mind me overall and it could have been worse. After a few waves my chicken loop came unhooked cause my donkey dick popped out. I cruised to the beach to rehook it and this dude starts yelling, “get down wind of me!”
Trying to control me as if I was somehow harming him instead of walking around me. In other words it was easier for him to boss me around.
So that was weird.
I said sorry and that my loop popped off. After that he was cool for some reason.
I was tripped out so I landed my kite with someone’s help but he set me down with my line on this chicks kite.
She got super bitchy and victimy like I had soiled her moment with my existence.
BACK TO ME. So, not being a kite surfer, I don’t know what a chicken loop or donkey dick might be. Rather, I don’t know what they actually are.  I probably will have more on the subject, but, wait, here’s a couple of shots of Adam “Wipeout” James at a secret spot, the important thing being that the place is throwing a lip.
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DURN: So, in almost keeping with the new rules of not revealing, Adam called me on his way home, after dark, photo taken by someone who doesn’t know all the rules. Still, one has to look. And that lip? Legit, just like Adam said, but probably not overhead. Okay, I’m saying Westport. Later Adam revealed he hit his head twice on his board during this session; but still claims he thinks he made this particular wave.
Meanwhile, and always, in the clique-ish/tribal, middle-school-mentality of the parking lot… if one can’t be super cool… no, I don’t have it figured out. I do try to not be ‘super bitchy and victimy,’ not wanting to soil my or anyone else’s moments. That’s in the parking lot. In the water…

Hydrosexual Stephen Davis On His Way Back UP

Evidently spring is finally coming closer. After driving through some snow, surfing in a squall, changing back into street clothes (socks are surprisingly difficult to put on frozen feet) in another round of sleet, driving back through rounds of sun, rain, more sleet, more sun… yeah, another surf trip in the great Pacific Northwest.

I’m not sure how long it took Stephen to get from lowest Baja to San Diego; almost long enough to get over getting sick from surfing in storm-runoff. But, with people lined up to stay with along the way, it’s taken one day from San Diego to Huntington, one day more to Rincon and beyond…

Here’s a shot of Rincon, the note saying (only) “Rincon with 4 out.” I sent a reply. “Did you go out?” I would have gone out, even if there were, I don’t know, 8 people out.

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Oh, I’m sorry… maybe it’s Rincon.

Part IV- Hydrosexual Stephen Davis Still (not down) Down In Mexico

I’ve been signed up for the Facebook thing for a while, but haven’t really used it. It seems, however, the best way to keep up with my currently far-flung friends, Archie Endo and Stephen Davis, is by navigating/scrolling/checking, and, probably to save some time, missing a few heartfelt/heart-rending/humorous/political/other postings, ‘liking’ any (and all) by my wife, maybe commenting if I just can’t resist (OH, and happy birthday to my youngest child, Sean, who posts under at least two pseudo-names;  by typing in their names. Again, since this sentence was so long, Archie Endo and Stephen Davis (no, not the preacher from the south or the teacher from the northeast).

Archie, to update you who are not up to date, is still in Bangkok, Thailand, though out of the hospital; going there daily for rehab; and may be coming back to the Pacific Northwest in the next couple of months. He says the effects of his stroke may decrease his ability to surf, particularly in our cold water.

First, Archie, this handicap may make him and I more even in our ability to surf. Second… Well, how about Mexico?

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This is Mexico. It may or may not be Stephen. Okay, it’s a photo taken BY Stephen Davis OF Matt Stokes, obviously FROM the water. I’m positive Stephen found his way into similarly desirable tube positioning. Desirable/enviable.

OKAY, so Stephen won’t tell me exactly where he is, but he has been down there long enough that my jealousy level has almost gone up to resentment. He has sent/posted a few photos. I keep writing to tell him I’m going to take some of these images and post them on this site, all the while encouraging Steve to write down some of the tales he’s, no doubt, living.

How do I know adventures are happening to and with Stephen, down there with the gringo pirates and painters and plunderers and (now I’m guessing) punk-ass dealers and two-and/or-four-wheelers? I know because Steve attracts adventure.  Or maybe adventure is attracted to him. I’ve told him from the first time we met, and I’ll tell you; Stephen is like a real life and modern day “Candide” (maybe you’re more familiar with the updated version, “Candy”); he approaches life with a sort of innocence, that filtered through his own particular set of neuroses (I think that’s the plural form- and his are different enough from mine that we can comment on them not that this lessens them for either of us, but it might help). We’ll get the stories, eventually; but for now, keep living it. We’ll discuss it all later. I can wait.

In case I have to say it: Stephen is one of my favorite people; and I’m not trying to be negative at all. What he is is real.

Stephen Davis Still Scoring

I don’t know where Hydrosexual Stephen Davis is; still in Mexico as far as I know, but I just got a few photos. Looks kind of like Trestles; not an empty lineup, but these guys seem to be… I don’t know; you judge for yourself.

Yeah, I’ve already mind-surfed the hell out of them. Hey, I’ll put a larger version of one of them so you can say what Stephen said, “Whoops.” Anyway, still waiting to hear some in-person accounts of Stephen’s exploits; trying to have a few of my own.

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PART III- Hydrosexual Stephen Davis Goes Deeper Into Baja

BUT FIRST…I’ve have a connection with Franco Bertucci, leader of Locust Street Taxi and author of a book of poetry, Awkward Guy.  I did some illustrations for the book, and Franco and I are scheming on how to sell more of his book and the Realsurfers Coloring Book. He has ideas on how to set up a PayPal account, and other things essential to being a bit more successful in our endeavors. Check him out at awkwardguy.com 

NOW BACK TO STEPHEN- I’m not sure where he is, do know he was in La Paz, on the Sea Of Cortez side, last time he had wi-fi. The surf had been flat on the coast (so, all the way up and down), but, obviously, he got waves somewhere.

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So, it’s one photo from Hawaii, Pine Trees, which, when I said it looks like Cardiff Reef, Stephen said, “Maybe, but warmer water, ” and, he did say, he got some good waves in uncrowded conditions on a rainy day, crappier waves with way more surfers, the Haoles more of a problem, attitude-wise, than the locals, when it was nice all day long.

The other photos are a bit of a mystery. I don’t know how there were lefts breaking on the backside of Baja, but, hey, I’m still up here waiting for a swell. Yeah, I know, it’s coming.

NOT REALLY AN UPDATE: Selected Texts to/from Stephen:

mon-12/08-10:10- I’m on my way.   11:37- Looks like a huge storm hitting PNW soon?    Reply-Not great forecast though. (this was after Steve hit N.Cal, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, some spots between there and Rincon)

sun. 12/11- 6:25am- Rincons knee high/flat/longboardable/high tide… No one seem to mind my afro so far. Good omen.            Hitting San Clam.                                                             4:06pm- Is ‘pipes’ San elijo state beach? Biggish bluff?                                                                       Reply-Yes. North end.                                                                                                                                      4:08- Looks super fun!                                                                                                                                     Reply- Surf it. Mostly oldsters.                                                                                                                      4:10-  Ok.  Longboard Day.  Clean though.                                                                                    Reply- Aren’t they all?                                                                                                                                     4:11- Seriously…                                                                                                                                              6:33- best waves so far? Santa Cruz. Pleasure Point rights.

Sun.12/25- 3:27pm- Hey Erwin! I made it to Canejo. Bit like the point and Hobuck in a blender with a cobble reef and howling wind. Surfing, kiteboarding, whales, blah, blah… I miss everybody. I hope you’re dropping in on some ahole logger catching tons of bombs for xmas. Miss you. S                                                                                                                                         Reply- Great stuff. Glad you are hitting it. Glad you made it. Surfed twice last week. (bragging part deleted). Don’t worry about missing anything here. Keep me posted and score the maximum allowed. And merry x-ing Christmas.                                                               3:42- I’ll send photos when I get wi-fi in a few weeks or whatever. Glad you are unapologetically charging… that’s my game plan too.  PS I love my new short board!!!

Wed. 12/28- 7:12am- I don’t know if people are fucking with me (probable) but, supposedly a naked surf contest here on New Year’s Eve? I might be the announcer? I will keep you posted… waves have been pumping.                                                                                         Reply- Thanks. Going surfing.                                                                                                                7:25am- PS. Get some bombas. Lack of surf desperation is tangible here. Solid overhead drainers one guy out all cruisey. Oh! It’s not perfect I guess? WTF?                                           Reply- Indeed. Hoping for four ft.                                                                                                        7:31-  Sounds good. Hope you score. I’ve been wearing armor, my full suit booties. Too many sharp flesh eating/penetrating things living on the reef. Going out now.

Tues. 01/03/17- 7:57pm- Happy New Year Erwin. “Flat” here… the equivalent of epic (spot deleted as per Clint’s Rule Number 1) only warm water, offshore wind, no one out, too much sun, etc… I’m tripping out. So many crazy stories from the old timers… Oh. Orcas ate a baby gray whale just past the surf on NY eve at sunset. What does it mean!?!?! Too much to tell. Warm wishes.                                                                                                                      Reply- Wha-ah-whoa-owww!!! And I never use multiple explanation marks!!!! You better be journalling this stuff, with illustrations

I also never say ‘journalling,’ but Steve does. Maybe texting is journalling. I’ll keep you posted, and soon, once I get them all sorted out, I’ll do something on Clint’s New Rules of Surf Etiquette and Behavior. I am trying to abide by them, but, really I love to talk surf way too much to not blurt out where and when if asked. And, yes, I did drop the name, Hobuck; but, if you’re a Buckster, you’re happy to share the Ho experience, though, really, I only had one great session out there, all alone until… that’s a different set of rules; the “Oh, it must be good; people are out surfboarding.”

 

Inside Break- Reboot

INSIDE BREAK- SOMETHING CLOSE TO NON-FICTION
THIS IS AT LEAST THE FOURTH TIME I have attempted to write this story. I always got stuck on the fact/fiction thing, partially because I didn’t want to get too personal with people who might not want this intrusion; partially because any attempt at biographical non fiction, because of memory lapses, point of view skewed in one direction or another, detail editing, many other reasons, becomes fiction. So, fine; I will attempt to remain as truthful as possible.
WRITING IS REMEMBERING as much as it is creating; maybe more. Forgotten events, suddenly, while thinking of/writing a particular story, spring loose from whatever kink or coil of brain wiring they were stuck in: Example I stole (one way of looking at it) Phillip Harper’s car (an oil-burning/leaking Corvair) in Baja (Easter Break, 1968) while he was sick and our other friends were unwilling get up early to try (again) to surf the rock-strewn closeout beachbreak out in front, or to leave the big and over-crowded tent to surf one of several legitimate point breaks we’d seen on the way down.
Though I remembered we were staying at a place on the beach, featuring a trailer park, a motel, and a cantina that looked like a gas station, which it may also have been, I couldn’t immediately remember the name of the place. We were actually mostly staying in someone’s parents big tent just outside the trailer park. Though Phillip’s stepfather had the use of a trailer for Phillip, his brother Max, stepbrother Mark, and invited friends Ray, Melvin, and me; because Dana and Billy and Mark had invited themselves along) earlier, I couldn’t remember the name of the place when I started writing this, but, because I was sure I’d driven the borrowed Corvair to K-54, but wasn’t sure that was actually correct, I went to the computer.  Cantamar. Or course. Still there.                                                             Hmm; was it K-55? Surfline claims that K-55 is a reef break, and I’m sure this was a point break. I did, perhaps, catch a few waves; pretty big ones, then lost my board trying to roll under one (term, at that time, ‘turning turtle’). I can, actually, vividly recall the board (the 9’9″ Surfboards Hawaii noserider, ‘found’ buried in the sand at Tamarack by some member of the Brooks family, from down Debby Street from my house, when they were grunion hunting, and given to me by Wendy Brooks’ father, over her objections, when they moved back to Texas) getting ripped from my hands; the lesson being, ‘keep your grip tight but your arms flexible.’
Just to finish this part of the story, Phillip wasn’t too sick to join up with the others, Dana’s old Corvair wagon and Ray’s (actually, as with my house a few sentences back, the cars may have been owned by parents, though they were pretty crappy vehicles) Ranchero suddenly, and dramatically pulling into the dirt lot, skidding, stopping near me, six highschool age (most of us were juniors, Billy, younger brother of a contemporary for whom surfing didn’t stick, may have been a sophomore, even a freshman) surfers bailing out as I secured the board with the newly-acquired ding onto the Aloha racks. “Your mom said I could take it,” I said Or may have; something to the effect. “You were in the motel with your mom and sister (Trish. not my Trish, but prominent in the bigger story); she didn’t want to wake you up.” This was interrupted and followed by a chorus of “fuck you,” that, eventually, by “How was it?” and “How did you do?”                                                          They hadn’t brought boards. We caravanned back to camp, later surfed some blown-out beachbreak south of Ensenada; though, maybe the next day, in the afternoon, the usual closeouts at Cantamar were lifted by genuine offshore winds.                                                    Better. Much better. I had convinced/forced Max and Mark, into filming; mostly me, with my super 8 camera.
Later, I put some of the footage together, showed it at school, several times; narrated by, of course, me. “Hanging ten? Hard to tell in the glare. Let’s say…yes.” There was a part where some of us are hanging out around a table outside the trailer. This was just after (not caught on film) Trish played footsie with me, and I, shocked, jumped; and she asked Ray, “How’s he ever going to get a girlfriend?” and I said (or should have, or could have, or wish I had), “Well, try it again;” and Ray, of course, sided with her on the girlfriend issue. And there was no way she’d ever do it again. No.                                                                               So, a bit of smoke from an unseen cigarette (this was before I’d had my first one) is visible in the movie version, to which I always said, “It was very cold down there.” It got a laugh; though not, after the first showing, from Ray.

insidebreakgoodversion 001

OBVIOUSLY I GET SIDETRACKED too easily. SO, I’m going to get to, and try to stick to the story of one trip from Fallbrook, across Camp Pendleton, to San Onofre, with one of my first surfing heroes, BUCKY DAVIS. This was in the spring of 1967. Things were escalating in Vietnam, the base was crazy busy, and we, just wanting a few good waves, were edging ever closer to making critical personal decisions on life and love and war and surfing.
BUT, don’t expect a laser focus. There’s just too much overlap with other trips and other stories. I’m at this moment, stuck on whether or not Bill Buel was on that trip to Cantamar. I’ve long replaced him in my own version of the San Onofre trip with Ray, with whom I made many other surf trips (mostly because I never liked, and even had some resentment or fear of Bill Buel).                                                                                                           And, once it was Ray with Phillip and me, me riding (for once) shotgun, in Bucky’s VW bus; the story definitely became fiction. So, Bill’s back in. This should be easier.
SO, NEAR-NON-FICTION.

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.”

stevemorrobay

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.

stevecayokosfogg

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.

steve-3

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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fortpointdavisstevesntacruz

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.

Dawn Patrol from Home and the FROTH Factor

Everyone who surfs seems to get the same forecasts, the same weather reports, and buoy readings, tide charts; it’s all in how much faith we put in the forecast, even faith in the buoys; and how we analyze the data. Ebb, flow, go or not go; load up the car, head out in the dark.

cam-lapush-wa-1Looks good; I think I see a line…wait, on the outside…looks glassy. Hmm.

OH, and we have to factor work into the eventual equation: WORK, the reason I’ve missed so many days others reported as epic, including, most recently, last Wednesday, a day I’d predicted as worth trying. Even more frustrating, I can easily, still ten miles from the spot I hope is breaking, remember working on the bluff above Stone Steps, painting someone’s house… OH, and the house down by (original, real) Grandview; while others, others, fortunate others, were enjoying glassy peaks.  OH, and the ultimate, working on Camp Pendleton, painting on base housing, with a perfect view of Lower Trestles, hoping it wouldn’t be blown out by lunchtime, hoping for an after work.

AND, it must be said, that looking at perfect, or even good waves once you’ve been out, and you’re tired, and you’re satisfied, and you’re warm (and your wetsuit is hanging or thrown into a bin) is way different than arriving to mediocre waves and a big crowd (as in, Last Saturday). “So, here comes a set, five people scratching for it… where’s my thermos?”

SO, we can talk about the FROTH level, exacerbated by third hand reports of favorable conditions at a spot I by-passed on Saturday (Was I, as accused, ‘too good’ for that spot? I had hoped to be, and was skunked at a spot I just knew would be working), and the generally hyper-competitive nature (so my wife says) between me and my small circle of surfing friends. Wanting to score, to brag, to, (even) gloat; factor these into the Froth Formula. And factor in one friend saying I was, perhaps, rather than not being so rude as to paddle out in a crowd of surfers of various skill levels, I was, and I should consider this, getting soft.

NO, I’ve always been competitive; and really, it’s mostly with myself, a desire to be better, better; as good as the conditions and my ability will allow.

FROTHING. WAVE LUST. So, yesterday, after a few skunkings, a near-(and should really be classified as a skunking, but I won’t)skunking, and some sessions riding barely-catch-able waves, I was FOAMING.  When I arrived, an hour after dawn (mostly because of indecision about the buoys), there were already six people out, the tide was already high and getting higher, and I was… here’s a froth-mediating thing: If the waves were epic, insanity; they weren’t, but there were waves, and the waves wouldn’t last through the tide; the swell could move a degree or two and it could all vanish… I paddled out.

Does that look... um, kinda...hmm

Does that look… um, kinda…hmm

Here came a wave; I turned and paddled for it alongside a guy with a beard and a very long longboard with a Gopro on the front of it. I backed-out, he missed the wave. “Oh, I thought you would’ve caught it,” I said, politely. No response. I jockeyed around a bit, then pointed to the Gopro. “How do you turn that thing on?” “By not taking off on my wave,” he said in a voice loud enough for me to hear despite wearing earplugs and a hood. “Oh, okay.”

Okay, froth mediation. “Be polite. Relax. Share,” I told myself, quickly followed by asking myself, “If I’m farther over, it wouldn’t be his wave?”  I caught a couple of inside waves, carefully avoiding the GoProHipster, and did notice he did the paddle-in-not-on-a-wave (sometimes called the ‘paddle of shame’), then hung out on the beach for quite a while. I kept surfing.

All lust, I remember from Psychology 101, seeks to end itself. Hungry? Eat. I’m okay, for a while, but, pre-dawn, still checking the buoys, the forecasts, doing a little writing before I go to, yeah, WORK. I don’t, incidentally, have Work Lust, at least not that requires counseling.