are moments in my surfing, when I seem to get a burst of adrenaline and
energy, that seems to come from somewhere deep in my past. Like some,
caked up residue, that breaks loose from my brain and settles into my
current state of reality. In other words, sometimes I do and try things
on my craft that I really shouldn't. Well, at least for my age. I know
there are plenty of surfers both on the local level, and beyond, that
are doing things on surfboards that are just mind boggling. That's not
me. My surfing nowadays, are reserved to doing smooth (but stylish) turns
and cutties, head dips, and the occasional lip bash. There are no AIRS
in my repertoire, or the flying through the air drop floaters. At least
not any more.
Those days are behind me. Way behind me...
Or so I thought. This past week we had ourselves a late summer swell that
capped out around chest to head high. Not bad for a late summer run. Still,
it's not the first big Hurri swell that we are all waiting for. It was
and is (there's still surf today) a fun week for cutting loose. Although
the water temps did drop. And drop considerably I might add. Still it
was fun to see and surf with all my friends. It was like a dam class reunion
out there. I had been shooting video from the water earlier in the day
and had been dying to get some waves of my own.
I grabbed my Retro Fish out of the garage on Friday afternoon and
headed out to join the throngs. That Fish is 6'4" and as thick as
a brick. Dam near 4" thick to be exact. Dave Cropper handed
it to me a year ago and said to try it out. I've really only had a few
good days on it. The Big Red Fish is more of a board that gets
me into waves earlier, due to the thickness. As far as it being functional,
well, I don't think it is. At least not for me. But for some dam reason,
I find myself riding it every now and then. Last Friday was one
of those moments.
We were all out at that real popular spot called the Wall. Perhaps
you've heard of it? It was congested. Shortboarders, Longboarders,
Boogieboarders and the occasional swimmer. The sets were coming through
about chest high. The dialogue was entertaining out there. And there was
a constant stream of ribbing each other. I don't know why some of my friends
have to be so dam hurtful. But they are.
Any way, a set popped up on the high tide sandbar and this little gem
of a peak came right to me. Giddy with delight, I spun the Red Fish
and popped into the wave with ease. I don't think I paddled more than
once to catch it. I was into that wave in one swift move.
The right was lining up perfectly for me, and it was an easy decision
to weave my way through the congested lineup as I quickly started to gain
speed. I snapped off a quick salute (as I do every session on the best
wave of my go out) then drove into the upcoming inside section. (This
is where I tie in the beginning of this column). Faster and faster the
Red Fish went. Then I gave two or three mini pumps to get the thing
moving even faster.
Suddenly, up ahead, a section was fast approaching that I would of recognized
years earlier. The perfect section to launch a "Ride The Roof"
Floater. Was I really going to attempt this? I asked myself. Was I really
going to launch my tired old bones into a potential lip launching Floater?
What if I fell? And let me tell you kids, that possibility was way up
on that ladder. Still I kept up the momentum. I heard a hoot or two. "Dam"
I thought to myself, "there's no turning back now". Once someone
hoots, you have to commit. It's like, when your the only one sitting outside
when a big set comes. And everyone starts hooting. If you don't go, it's
nothing but shame and catcalls. Same thing here. I had to go.
was committed to this Floater. I pumped one last time and launched the
Big Red Fish along the roof of the wave. My speed was carrying
me far enough across the section that I actually felt comfortable. In
fact, I didn't just feel comfortable. I felt young and alive again. It
was like I had rolled back the clock and it was 20 years ago. The
speed, the hoots, the excitement, it was all swirling in my head as I
came back down for the landing.
And how about that landing?
I landed in the shorebreak in about 12 inches of water. I landed
so hard that my teeth cracked. I had hit the sand and was thrown back
off my board and hit my back. I felt like I knocked 10 years off
my life. Which is not bad, because, I had just told you all, that I had
20 years on the initial launching.
So the way I look at it ...I netted 10 years.
big Happy Birthday to little Veda Day Cropper. The little Surfer
Girl turned two this past week. It's hard to believe that all these little
surf babies are growing up so fast. What am I talking about? It's happened
to all of us. Enjoy them while you can. They'll be driving vehicles before
you know it and worse, they'll be dropping in on you out in the water.
All you surfers who read this every week who have young children might
want to check out our annual surf party for families. SURF FAMILY ROBINSON.
It's been 16 consecutive years now. Check it out.
www.surffamilyrobinson.com Saturday, September 1st, 2007...
The local ESA District NNE run by director Lenny Nichols
and family had their 4th contest of the summer at the Wall this past Saturday.
It was well attended by the local competitors from Mass, NH and Maine.
The surf was great for contest surfing too. I mean isn't that what anyone
wants for a surf contest? Surf. It was that and more.
maybe a few non-competitors who drifted into he contest line-up. Still,
this time of the year is the best. Why? Well the Lifeguards are gone and
that opens it up for all of us. That long stretch of cement can hold quite
a few surfers if you really think about it.
It did on Saturday during the contest.
I have not seen the weather in a few days so I don't know what's cooking
in the tropics. I do know that we've had waves for about 4 days now. And
even though the water got colder it was still some late summer fun. But
summer is leaving kids. I've seen the signs. We've all seen the signs.
I watched and shook my head as several flights of Cormorants headed
south. I tried yelling at them to turn back, but they ignored me. And
as I was rinsing out my wetsuit tonight I heard a sound that startled
Leaves were blowing up my street. Dead leaves. Red, orange and brown.
It looked like Fall. I almost called the kids out to check it out. But
thought that might be too cruel. After all, they are going back to school
this coming week. Which is, in itself, a tragedy. I mean really....
NO Kid should have to go back to school in August. I'm sorry, but
that's wrong. It should always be after Labor Day. August
and school? Homey don't play that game. I just don't buy into it. I feel
bad for the kids.
But then again...all those kids back in school could be a God send if
a swell hits during the week. Think about it. In fact, now that I am thinking
more like an adult, and not a child, they should go back to school after
the 4th of July.
Those kids need to learn stuff.
Get out of the lineup and get back in school. I'm kidding. I do wish you'd
all stick around until the first week of September. And then head
back to the school grind.
This past weekend was the Cinnamon Rainbows Surf shop Midnite
Madness sale. And, it was, by all indications a HUGE success. So,
on behalf of the shop and all those who work here, a BIG SHOUT OUT
TO ALL For your continued support.
The Red Sox are 7.5 games up on the Yankees. I would
not be too concerned. The Patriots looked real good on Friday.
It was quite the clinic on running the ball and throwing the ball. Laurence
Maroney was a welcome addition to the backfield. In fact, he carried
the ball 9 times in a row on Friday.
The Paddle for Danny Miller should reawaken your commitment to helping
out his young son. So if you haven't already, please send a little something
for little Landon.
Landon Miller Fund through ANY Citizen Bank. Or send your
Landon Miller Foundation
83 South Road
North Hampton, NH 03862
to see Danny Tribute or see Danny Surfing
Tribute to Danny. North By
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.