After days of being snowed in, I’d developed a wicked case of cabin fever. A sunny, sixty-degree day was just what I needed. My five-year-old and I biked to a playground on the beach.
While my boy scurried about like a hamster on a wheel, I noticed a lone longboarder bobbing atop a generally flaccid sea. Then, a little ways down the beach, I noticed a roping righthander, then another.
The swell was from the south, the way I like it. This spot, I recalled, comes alive on a south, so much so that a few friends and I refer to it as “The Superbank” after the famed pointbreaks along Australia’s Gold Coast.
A memory popped into my brain of another day here just like this. It was, in fact, nearly one year ago to the day. I was too sick to go to school, but I mustered enough energy to surf perfect right barrels with only a few other people. Only for around five hours. I was too weak to stay out till dark.
Reminiscing about that day made me miss surfing more than I had all year, and finally the allure was too strong.
I couldn’t believe that no one but the single logger joined me. Every set produced a tuberide that was deeper than the last. I casually faded on a few, airdropped on others, each time angling beneath a pitching lip and pumping through a lengthy barrel. I got six or seven screamers and didn’t fall once.
Just after getting shot out of another smoker, I heard, “Dad, did you see that?” It was my son, giddy over almost traversing the monkey bars.
“What, huh? No, I missed it.” I was still trying to pull myself from the reverie. “Go do it again.”
I looked back to the waves, but they were knee high at best. Peeling seamlessly, but only knee high. Just like that, I was right back on the park bench sipping my Starbucks alongside the other parents.
I wonder if I’ll i ever watch a breaking wave and not surf it in my mind? For as long as I can remember, that’s what I’ve done. No matter how big or small, lined up or shutting down, crumbling or barreling its ass off, I’ve mentally ripped it.
Do I want to be able to watch a breaking wave without mindsurfing it? That would be like seeing a beautiful woman and not at least giving her a second, long glance. Is there a man on earth, no matter how happily married, who doesn’t do that? Appreciating beauty simply means we’re alive.
Heck, even K (my wife) checks out hot chicks. Not in a creepy way, I don’t think. Based on that fact, what I did shouldn’t really be considered cheating. Should it?