Monday, August 27, 2007

Dropping in can be dangerous

This past Sunday I had a decent surf session at C-street. The waves had been breaking in a way which made my surfing in the quad fish easier. Afterwards, I stood in front of the Beam wathching the other surfers make their attempts to catch waves. Within seconds of checking out the surf scene, I watched a shortboarder on a cobalt blue board catch a waste high one that he took right. A longboarder dropped in on the wave only 10 feet in front. Cobalt blue shot along trying to avoid the clueless kook by going behind him. The interloper ends up falling off his 9 foot or so stick and I watch his board flip up end over end and come down on the head of cobalt blue. Surprisingly there was no altercation. I watched with interest as the 2 surfers had some words pass between them.

Dropping in on some one else's wave can be acceptable at times. It can be OK when the surfers both agree to share the wave. Some of my fave rides have been with my brother, Brian. This past winter, we shared some beefy head highs. I'll always remember Bri shooting along underneath me while we're both encouraging each other and laughing.

More often then not, dropping in on some one else's wave is looked at as an infraction. It is one of the most dangerous areas of surfing because getting hit in the head with a surf board can knock some one out. Fins can slice thru human flesh like a knife thru butter. The ocean is no place for bleeding or the unconscious.

I related the drop in story to a couple surfers yesterday. Bob shook he his head and then told me about his probem with another surfer. Bob had been out there on his shortboard for only a little while when a longboarder came by and proceeded to steal every wave from Bob. This longboarder was continually cutting Bob off and basically breaking the code of respect that helps create some order out of the natuarl chaos that ensues with multiple surfers. Bob confronted the longboarder and longboarder says: "What are you going to do about it?"

Bob does not say a word. He paddles back to his car and gets out his funboard: thicker, wider, longer, faster. Paddles back out immediatley and finds the longboarding kook. He then proceeds to serve up the same medicine until the kook finally paddles away further up the point because he could no longer catch a wave with Bob around. Bob follows the interloper and prevents him from getting another wave and finally the kook gave up and paddled back to shore. Hopefully he learned a lesson. Do not piss of shortboarders.

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