Wednesday, January 3, 2007

More room to move

Mind surfing is fun, that unavoidable chemical change that morphs your brain when you order a new board. I have it at the moment, a new board is on the way. Tied off and cruising 101 northward atop a friends' car, a new ride and a new way of riding for me. Stand up paddling, hell am I going to taking a rash of shit for going in this direction! But it'll be hard to hear it around the points and capes around here as I spoon out toward them though................get used to some solitude baby!

Back to mind surfing tho', it happens every time you get a new board. No matter how you surf, a new board will make you surf better.............. at least until you get up on that first wave. If you're lucky and get a "magic" stick then the fun begins, a board that truly lives up to the dream. I've had a few over time, one that wasn't mine, just a board I had frequent access to was not even shaped to be what it became.

It had started life in the Islands a 7' 6" gun shaped by Owl for a trip he took to Australia from what I gathered. But the board got trimmed down while in Oz to meet Owl's new found understanding of the local conditions., in it's latest incarnation it had become a stubbier looking 6' 4" round pin. All the body of a longer board but none of the nose, it surfed incredibly well. Paul, an Aussie friend of mine had somehow gotten possession of the board because Owl needed cash and sold some things to keep cruising along, such a classic surfer. No amount of wheedling on my part could pry that stick out of Paul's hands, for God's sake he barely surfed the thing and I was in love with it! So I just kept riding it till he pulled it away from me, literally. You could feel the weird genius of Owl's handiwork in the turns that flowed under your feet and the ease in which it found the sweet spot in sections and raced to daylight when pressed.

This is what a new board does to me , even before I get it all the memories of past surf craft unroll like a carpet and I get to walk on them again, and I ramble............. So the new board has me thinking of new ways to ride old waves.

One of the common complaints we have here is that there are so many rideable waves locally that are tough to impossible to get to. Beachies that have no channel to aid the paddle through numbingly cold water. Resulting in achingly long and fruitless attempts to reach the outside, while walls peel off like sirens, just out of reach. One way to do it is with an engine of course, another could be the stand up paddleboard, I'll see. At least I'll be able to get away from what amounts to a crowd around here and find peaks far enough out of reach of prone paddling. And that bommie that rears up and does a wonderfull impersonation of south shore reefs is well within reach and the paddle will help me stay on the peak that shifts. This is the mind at work today.

There is something that is so Polynesian about this way of riding, it actually spooks me a bit and I don't know why. In some way I feel like old ghosts are going to be keeping an eye on me, gaurdians of their purview. There are many Third World examples of stand up craft, all of utilitarian use, none purely pleasure with a healthy dose of exercise and meditation. This unearths memories of Islanders, throwing tools and tasks aside to chase waves and an afternoon into the twilight, smiling as boards are dragged up the sand out of reach of the sea.