20 September 2008

Egregious Breaches of Surfing Etiquette

Is it me or are people completely clueless as to the right way and the wrong way to behave in the lineup? Question I thought today but didn't ask: "Do you really want this skeg driven up your ass?" The only thing that literally saved this girl's backside was my decision that today would not be a good day to scrape bloody wax off my board. God knows I do it enough already! Seriously, I don't want anyone to get hurt. But why must I always be the "bigger man"? It's bad enough that these fools drop in two inches in front of you while you're coming down the line. I'm at the point where I don't even say anything. People see the front of my log in their peripheral vision and seem to regain their senses. Still, that means you spend a lot of time dodging boards while you're up and riding. Not fun.

This girl today apparently thought she was the shit. Her body language and attitude suggested this. Whatever. Anyway, a wave approached. I'd been sitting there waiting. She'd only been there for a bit. I start paddling. Since it was a kind of mushy break, I was on the log. And that thing hauls ass. It locks in and then you're off and running. Well, it locked in. I'm ready to pop-up. Unfortunately, this little heifer is directly in front of me, legs wide open, paddling for the same wave. Mind you, my board is already in second gear, waiting for me to floor it. And now I've got to make a decision. It was crowded. I could not change my line. It was straight over her or stop. I opted to stop, but what the fuck? I'm nice, believe in karma and won't run you over . . . usually. It's not easy to stop that board either. The thing is four feet longer than I am and perfect for walking. That's why I had it out there today. You know, it can also be perfect for battery. I don't condone beefs in the water. I've never had one for more than, say, 30 seconds (and that was when a guy told me I couldn't go left . . . on an obvious left at a spot that beginners believe only breaks right). I'm beginning to understand what would drive a person to have a beef in the water.

There was way too much bad surfing behavior out there today. I don't think it's my responsibility to advise each and every surfer of his/her bad behavior so I don't. What I don't get is that people are throwing caution to the wind and launching themselves into waves, rarely mindful of the dangers around them. One thing I know about surfing: It's not about you. You can't be a self-centered prick/bitch/asshole/dickhead/punk ass m@#!&*^%#!er (that string of expletives felt good—can't swear out loud around a six year old and it was nice to let it out on paper) in the water. If the ocean doesn't kick your ass, another surfer probably will, whether literally or figuratively.

I don't throw the stinkeye at anyone. I don't vibe people. I don't exchange heated words. It's really not me. Know what? I can learn to be that person if need be. Where is winter when you need it? Most of these ignoramuses will be out of the water once the temperature dips and the wave size climbs. Pray for frigid water!


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