Black Folks and the Cold
I don't know why I always say to my friends, "You know black people don't like cold water." I say it and yet I don't hesitate to paddle out when it's freezing. You'd think all this African blood would keep me out of the cold. Nope. I still paddle out. Today it felt like it's just about time to pull out the booties. I did not wear them once last year. I don't know why that was. I keep saying they prevent me from feeling the board. But what's the difference if my feet are so frozen that I lose feeling in my feet about 20 minutes into a session? Yeah, I'll put the booties in my surf bag in the event that I come to my senses about my poor feet. What brought up this discussion about the cold? Well, it was pretty damn cold out there today. The water was bad enough. The breeze on top of it was almost more than I could bear. I was still out there though. And it was decent . . . for a basically flat day. There were waves to be had if your board was long enough. One of the local guys told me I'd gotten "the left of the day". Most of the rides today were short ones. I nonetheless hopped on a left that, to my surprise, opened up and kept on going. I carved. I pumped. I milked that thing dry!! I knew it was good when I was on it. I heard someone behind me hooting as I went down the line. As I paddled back out, he started hooting again. Once we got back to the parking lot, he was still talking about it. That wave, of course, made my whole session. There were many others, but this was the one that mattered. Once again, I had a witness so I wasn't being delusional when I thought I was surfing that wave well. Hell, I even walked up to the nose and did a cheater five today. I rarely walk the board these days. I just don't think about it. Today, I got on a wave that ran out of energy, leaving me stuck at the back of the board with the nose sticking up toward the sky. Instead of jumping off, I cross-stepped over to the nose and got a little extra out of the wave. I guess I was feelin' it today. That's good since I could barely feel my feet by the time I got out.
Hair update: I'm not even thinking about covering my head when I get in the water. The dreads were set free about a month ago. I decided since I was no longer in danger of them coming out, it was time to surf with them out. That decision lead me down yet another road. There's one school of thought that dictates that you constantly twist your hair in order to make it lock. Usually, you'll put some kind of gel or locking agent on it to keep it twisted. That's the route I took at the beginning. Now, I've decided to go the rasta route. From now on, I'm letting the dreads form on their own. All I do now is separate the roots. No more twisting. No more lock gel. What this means is that I don't have that freshly-twisted look anymore. It also means that my hair is puffy, especially after I wash it. I'm aspiring to get dreads like these:
In the meantime, I have to contend with dreads that look like this:
In the end, it's fine. I'm not hung up on hair much. The hardest part is trying to keep the dreads in check for work. This Sideshow Bob stage is worth it now that I can feel the water running through my hair when I surf.