I need to get in the water more … same old story, moved away from beach (even though it’s only about 7 minutes drive), got lazy, came up with excuses, put on weight … lame. Makes me feel bad. I used to charge and was well on track for surfing my life away … couldn’t think of anything more important and worthwhile !!!
Anyway, here’s a little bite of what I wrote on another forum years ago … took the sponge out on that day. I like surfing too but on heavy closeout days and full on rock shelfs like what I am used to I’ll take the sponge and enjoy getting deep and belted. Even body surfing … or just swimming, it’s all good.
surf was big, wild and hairy. nowhere locally was holding and on the low tide all the beaches were just closing out along the bays. lots of water moving around, heavy closeouts, clapping like thunder, walls of white churning the sand. So like an adventurer I scale down the headland, slip on flippers and go out on the bodyboard looking to get swamped and get some thrills and kicks. and boy, did I get some kicks. the waves roll in like interstate freighters or trains and irregular in size. so much water being sucked around it's a fulltime paddle just to stay in place against the currents and rips. me and 2 other guys out and the life guard on the jet ski twice came out to advise us to go in and ask if we needed a hand. we all said we cool but there was a good bit of pride speaking. it wasn't exactly the size it was just that it was shutting down in 100 metre sections and impossible to make. even though it was a good 150 metres from the shore it felt like some massive shorebreak and very hollow for it's size. big enough to drive a kenworth truck into on the bigger sets. my guts are uneasy. I keep paddling fringeing just outside the impact zone looking for a good spot to paddle into one of the monsters with a hope of being able to run a little along a face and maybe, just maybe kick out before it hammers me and explodes. I see the other guys who are sitting inside me looking out to the horizon and immediately I know a monster of a wave is coming. I spin around and start paddling. my first sighting of the wave is dread and I can only just see the top part of it's peak. as it's about 50 metre's out I see that it is a peak with a nice wedge and a shoulder and i'm kinda Ok position wise as it marches upon me. I turn around and start to paddle for it. it starts bowling a little and i know 15 metre's away that it's gonna jack up and I'm prime so big breath and paddle smooth strong strokes with my arms grabbing as much water as I can and my legs kick furiously as my flippers churn water like some small speedboat. the next few seconds seem like slow motion. the wave approaches me and even though i am paddling with/into it I feel like i'm not moving ... but I am rising like on an elevator. Just as i'm feeling like zoom/pull focus, hitchcock-esque, feeling whoa at that height, the area of water at the crest of the wave I am on starts throwing and me with it. a last frantic, desperate kick with my flippers and I grab the board firm and I start a rush down a face that almost seems vertical. no going back. countering my intuition to lean back I throw all my weight forward. behind my left ear I hear the start of a loud clapping thunderous vacuum rumble that is getting closer and louder. I look right and see an escape ramp along the face of the wave and indeed it is holding up and shouldering. I am now at the base of a wave and lean back and dig the right rail into the water. the bottom turn might have lasted a good 30 metres and looking along the wave I see a wall building in size and as I'm lying inches above the surface of water at it's base it looked like some massive blue-green mountain about to swamp me. i release the rail buried in the water and what seemed crazy fast before now seemed like hyperspeed and I slashed across the wave face knowing that just behind me the loud thunder was exploding. it doesn't even feel like the bodyboard which is 20" wide and 42" long is even touching the water. all the while I scream along the wall I know it's getting bigger and the edge of it's crest is now no longer visible from the right of my view but has folded over, envelops me and the lip is now the left side of my face. The wave then becomes crystaline smooth, and now the sunlight is shut off by my liquid curtain, and the noise is all around me yet I feel distant, cocooned, and oddly at peace and for just that moment I am hyper-real yet I feel like I am in some dream and far removed from the actual situation. really strange. strangely real. the churning round cyclinder i am in, hidden from the world then goes dark and i can no longer see a cyclopic eyelet of light far into the distance. instinct tells me to breathe again, the 2nd breath i took since paddling into it. just as i get some O into my lungs and clench my lips and jaw tight I throw the board and hit into the water like a brick into mud but at much higher velocity. arching my back and kicking and pulling and grabbing I try to fight and punchthrough the wall of liquid force and for a moment it feels like Im gonna kick through it and escape a certain working .... then i realize I, and all the water around me is not only moving together but slowly, excruciatingly slowly upwards and around. It now feels like I'm stable and the whole world and it's ocean is wrapping around me tightening it's grip and holding me frozen. i know what happens next. i brings my arms up around my head, brings my legs up just like if I were being beaten and kicked by a wild and crazy horde of soccer hooligans except I relax and try to go as limp as possible for my state of blissfull suspension and slow motion is about to impact and become a very different dimension. even though I am mostly an atheist right now I am thinking of nothing but God, hoping She can hear me. The first impact immediately punches the air out of me, and like a machine gun, staccatto-like I am belted, thrown, twisted, pummeled, driven mercilessly till I no longer have will or volition and with certainty know more than any moment in life that fate is not in my own hands. I hit the bottom and even though it's sand it feels like a wall which either has velcro or a magnet sticking me to it with the liquid force keeping me pinned. sqaushed. then it releases, yet I can't move and seem stuck in place. ever so slightly, micro-like I sense I am moving, floating like a spaceman outside his spaceship but I know everything is dark and there are no stars to guide me. summoning energy I didn't think I had left start kicking and grabbing water, increasingly feeling frantic knowing I can't breathe, yet my lungs are about to explode and my mouth will ingest all the ocean around me. But I'm stuck, Im kicking and padddling to where I know the surface is but the water is sucking like a tornado or whirpool and I seem to be going nowhere. I'm scared, I know I haven't got long and just as my thoughts fill with dread i feel a surge punch me to the surface and i fill my lungs with fresh, beautiful, sweet air more hungrily than the moment that I was born becuase I already know how delicious it tastes. and I open my eyes and thrash the surface looking for my then slab of polypropolene I was attached to and that got me into this mess. I feel tugs and pulls from the water still but I fight and gather myself from what felt an excursion to another world. I see about 30 metres away a wall of water about 4 metres high like that crazy tasmanian devil cartoon character spinning chaoticly in every direction but mostly towards me. 2 or 3 quick breaths and I dive like a porpoise and kick madly trying to get as deep as possible. I grab sand at the bottom and I feel ok like I've escaped or snuck through and then a tug on my arm pulls me like a parachute opening as the wave grabs my board and drags me with it. unlike the last wave it only rumbles a bit, I gain confidence and surface. My leash which was about 1 foot long is now about 8 feet long and I quickly raise my hands to stop my board from smashing into me. reunited with my board I climb atop and almost feel guilty for wishing I wasn't attached to it moments ago. it's my friend, my saviour, my island in a sea of troubles. and again a wall of water, foaming and churning white water races towards me and I bury the board and drive it down with my knee and try illogically to kick and bury it and myslef under the ocean. I wince expecting another working and pop up like a duckling, bouyant and wide eyed. my next feeling is kinda schizophrenic ... happy, releived becuase there is not another wall of white water, but scared, dreading almost becuase that means the blue mass is rising and coming towards me. and I start paddling like a dervish, seems stupid but trying to get to it before it gets to me. Like on some airport walkway I sense the water around me sucking out to it as well and i swear I am paddling faster than Johnny Weismuller in them tarzan flicks. It's getting bigger and my earlier dread was easier compared to this one becuase before I was helpless and surrounded but now I have a battle to face up to and know I like David, must face Goliath and attack If I am to make it. it rears up, and i am flying it seems and all the water has joined me to attack the beast and it snarls it's head up and is about upon me when i grab my board and stab into the wave and kick with all my heart so I can drive right into it's heart. I can feel it sucking me back and i fight against it, and win. the rip I am in resumes and drives me out to the horizon and sneak past waves that didn't sense me bridging past their defence and finally make it out back where I am now alone. it is then I feel my hydraulics pumping. my heart is thumping so loud I can hear it. i can also feel the echoing thump in my neck and it's like no heartbeat i can recall. this thing is racing, speeding, seemingly ready to burst. I slow my breathing down and make it deeper, sit on my board and hold my hands to my chest feeling it both heaving with breath and pound with blood. everything is in absolute clarity, crystaline colours, and impossibly vivid. more than LSD, more than orgasm, more than life. i am. no doubts, not ambiguity. I am alive. I am here. i am. and i spend the next hour or so till it's well past dark chasing the same thrill but it's not the same. it's not as intense, it's never as frightful, I am smiling even. awaiting the slamming with glee and enthusiasm, willingly. I land onto the sandy shore and feel like I don't belong. trying to walk up it with flippers and legs that haven't felt gravity for a while makes it even more ungainlly and unnatural. I flop on the sand and take some time to gather what just happened, like upon waking trying to recall the dream before it vanishes and sifts aways like sand and smoke. i look around and see just the lights from buildings and street poles. it's like some ampitheater but I sit alone and hidden by darkness at it's edge. I walk up the beach, up some steps, along the foreshore pathway like an alien. people going to dinner, jogging, walking, sitting to listen to the ocean and I'm some dripping, strange phenomenon that doesn't make any sense, like i don't belong and I sense their animosity as I shuffle hurridly up the path and to my home. I take a long shower, I drink fresh sweet water, I cook a simple pasta with just garlic, fresh tomato and a few sprigs of basil shredded and tossed in with olive oil and parmesan. I eat it, in silence and know I need for nothing and don't wish to be anywhere or do anything but strech out and smile. rest and sleep and wake up early hoping the swell stays till it again meets daylight. I sleep dreaming about what I just lived. I dream of nature and how much she has given me life. Another wave comes over me.
And pics … yes that’s me, the original hipster (pretty fit from surfing 3 - 6 hours every day), breakfast of champions, about to pull in at Macca’s and the perpetual drying shorts/rashie/wettie in the bathroom. Those were good days !!