30 October 2006

Free Your Mind

What movie are these lines from? "One day you'll be cool. Look under your bed, it'll set you free. " For some odd reason, that line—the second one—came to mind when I was thinking about yesterday's session. (Cos, you know, I got it like that so I already know I'm cool. Right? Oh, don't answer that!) It wasn't music that set me free. It was, in fact, a surfboard.

I've only taken this board out, what, three or four times? I'm already starting to feel a certain level of comfort when I'm on it. I noticed that yesterday. At the end of my session, one of homies made me switch boards with her. She thought I was frustrated by my board and assumed I wanted to get on a longboard. So, we switched. And . . . I was not at all happy. There was too much board under me. Too much board under me? What the . . . ? I swear I was ready to start hyperventilating. The world was spinning. I was actually sitting on a longboard and wishing I could be back on my shorter board! I caught a wave on her board. Then we switched back. I then proceeded to catch a wave on the shorter board. With that, I ended it. I was lost. Am I a longboarder? Am I going to become a shortboarder? Who am I? Where am I?

What I do know is my view of my surfing world has changed. I am in a state of transition. I'll stop trying to convince myself and everyone who'll listen that I love my longboards. I won't stop loving those boards. But, Clayfin was right when he predicted I'd spend most of the winter on shorter boards. Going to a shorter board opens up a world of possibilities for me. And I'm really trippin' on the fact that I possess the ability to surf something shorter. I'd always assumed I wasn't strong enough, hadn't surfed long enough, would never be interested, yadda yadda yadda.

The quiver will soon grow to six boards. I bid on, stopped bidding on, hoped I'd lose, and eventually won a used 6'4" board on eBay. I'm already thinking ahead. I know how I am. It's likely that I will want to go even shorter than 7'1" within the next few months. I might as well be ready for that day. This is what's in the quiver as of today:
9'6' Tyler 305 custom
9'0" Chris Slick single fin
8'6" Con funboard (which I may end up selling)
7'1" Channel Islands M-13
7'0" Channel Islands MSF (which is hard as hell to surf)
6'5" Shortboard (6'5"—19 1/4"—2 3/8")


At 10/30/06, 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew this would happen if you gave that Merrick enough water time. You'll always have longboarding. Enjoy the freedom for now and mix up the two when you're feeling it.

At 10/31/06, 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're just becoming an all around surfer...it's great to have options!

At 10/31/06, 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Shred!

At 11/1/06, 5:40 AM, Blogger Bill said...

"Be an all boards person", Joel Tudor, WORDZ

At 11/1/06, 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lose the stinbug stance., Wingnut

At 11/2/06, 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steak or lobster? Why not both!

At 11/3/06, 3:42 PM, Anonymous clayfin said...

The best part of your post was "But, Clayfin was right". I can't even get my wife to say that!

At 11/3/06, 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1966 at the age of 12 I learned to surf on a 9' Weber. It took all I could do to just turn the damn thing. Then the "revolution" came around 1968. Nat Young brought the short board to America. I ran to the local shop and plunked my dad's hard earned cash for my first board, a 6'6" Surfboards Australia. Anything Aussie was cool then. Then slowly over the years a Chapman, a Jim Overlin, a Con, a Hollow WAVE and even a 5'4" Hobie Twin Fin. Never owned more than one board at a time. It just wasn't done back then, except by the North Shore folks.

A few high school friends moved to California in the mid 70s. Among them Bill Stewart. Back then Bill was shaping boards at Rick James in San Clemente. My summers were spent travelling to SC and surfing Trestles, SanO, T Street, but alas my "east coast" board was just too slow for some of those breaks. Bill shaped me a 7'10' single fin swallowtail that I still have to this day. A few year later I got a job in LA, got way too busy to go surfing and it faded from my life. I even moved back east. The shortboard sat in my garage for 25 yrs...

...One day an old friend rang me up and told me he just bought a Stewart longboard, did I want to go to the beach and give it a try? I huffed & puffed to paddle out in shoulder high waves. Stood up on the longboard that felt just like my first Weber. I got back in my car and drove home to get my shortboard, returned to the beach paddled back out and it was like I was 18 again. Popped right up slid down the shoulder and made a nice bottom turn. It was the absolute greatest feeling. Now I'm the "old man" with the "old school" board at my local spot. Shortboards surfing is just totally different from being on a longboard, even old school shortboarding.

Now some days my 17 yr old daughter joins me in the line up. I don't know how I went 25 yrs. without surfing.


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