“Did you surf again today?”
It was turning dark and my housemate Krede had just walked in the door after a day at work.
“Yeah, I went out at Mains again." I replied, "Just sniffed around, watched a few and then paddled back in without getting a wave.”
“It must’ve been pretty big this afternoon, which board did you take out?”
“My six-seven. I was way undergunned.”
“How big was it?”
“I reckon ten, maybe twelve foot on the sets. I didn’t realise until I’d already pulled my wetsuit on in the car park though. There was a crowd at the top of the steps watching it. I figured I’d have looked really stupid if I turned up, got changed and then got back in my car and left again without paddling out”
“You should have taken one of my bigger boards!”
I didn’t say anything, but I never borrowed one of Krede’s bigger boards, despite his regular offers when North Point was breaking, because I figured that if it was too big to paddle into on my 6’7” then I had no business being out there. I’d be terrified that if I had a bigger board then I’d actually have to man-up and use it.
“Did I ever tell you about the time Ernie lost his eight-six” out at Mains on a big day?”
“It was a pretty sizey; maybe pushing fifteen feet on the big ones. Big enough to thin the crowd out a heap. He snapped his leash when he fell on one and couldn’t find his board so swam in over the reef, thinking it’d been washed in. It wasn’t in the shallows though and when he got to the top of the steps he could see his board way out the back behind the peak; it’d floated into the rip and was halfway out to sea. He had a spare board in his car, I think his seven-ten, so he grabbed it and paddled back out to go get his board. The current had taken it around the back of Mains and Southsides and it was most of the way across the bay down towards Boat Ramps, which was breaking too, like a kilometer away. He said he kept losing sight of it because of all the chop.”
“What a mission. He got it back though right?”
“Ha! Yeah. It was snapped in two though, just held together by the glass on the deck but he didn’t realise until he’d paddled right up to it. It’d looked like it was still in one piece when he’d seen it from the top of the steps. He’d paddled all that way to find out that he’d snapped his favourite board! He was spewing, hey.”