A few days ago I was waiting at the water's edge for a break in the swell, trying to organise my timing so I could get out past the massive wash that was about to hinder me as I paddled out. The swell was solid and the sweep was still really strong and there were people everywhere trying to score one of the beautiful waves that were peeling off the point and back down towards the town. It was a good day to not make mistakes. The sets were coming through pretty close in, but every so often a big, fat, wide wave or two would smash through and clean out the crew sitting wide. Funny to watch from the beach though...
Anyway, as I stood waiting, a guy walked down and was standing next to me. He was holding a longboard under his arm, and as I checked him out, I realised he had no legrope. That's not unusual in these parts, but when it's as big and busy as this, even the die-hard-non-legrope-wearing locals bow to that length of plastic to connect them to their board. I had to comment,
No legrope, huh. You're game.
He looked at me with a delightful mixture of smugness and confidence,
Legropes are cheating.
Well, I guess that makes me a cheater.
He smiled, shrugged and went on his way.
Around here, there's loads of crew who don't wear leggies. Most of them are good surfers and they know the breaks and how they work. But when they lose their board, it can get messy. One local grump lost his board near me once, and then had a go at me for not grabbing it for him. I was on a wave by the way!
I'll admit that I often go bare-legged when I surf, but not when it's busy. When it's small and peeling and fun, it's fun to paddle out and take responsibility for your board and your surfing. I was talking to a friend about it the other day. She reckons more people should surf without them,
It would make them more careful and they'd have to learn to hold onto their boards.
True. But I'm pretty happy that (almost) everyone's been sporting them the past few weeks. I would've been clocked a few times without them.
Today, I was out in the water, when the cute guy from the few days before paddled past me.
Hey! and a smile.
He was riding something short and fat and round and, hang on, HE WAS WEARING A LEGROPE! It was my turn to be smug,
Soooo, I thought legropes were cheating?
Oh? Oh yeah. Ha ha. Only on that board. This board's different...
Really, so it's a board-based thing? There's conditions on the cheating rules?
Yeah, would you like a copy of them?
Oh how we laughed.
But honestly, if you're going to go around making 'legropes are cheating' claims to complete strangers, then you better be consistent.