Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What are you working on?

Kurungabaa: a journal of literature, history and ideas for surfers, is calling for submissions for the next issue. The issues will be framed around an over-riding theme of longing...

Longing for waves, lover, place, smell, healing, gods, goddesses, water … The December issue of Kurungabaa is on “Longing”. We are looking for submissions – poetry, art, photographs, writing, dreams, frustrations.

For more information, hit up the website.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Joe is zipping his wetsuit as I pull up.

I jump out of the car and rush because it's already 5pm and it's getting colder and darker by the second.

See you out there. Joe slams his boot shut and turns to go. And then stops.

Shit, do you reckon I need wax? he asks me, looking at his board.

I reckon if you're thinking about it then you probably do, Joe.

He considers.

Ugh, nah. I already locked my car, he decides and turns again to go.

I've got some if you want? I offer.

What is it?

Orange Sex Wax.

Ah, a connoisseur. He walks over and takes the dirty, white cake out of my hand. I didn't think you'd use this.

Huh? I look at him, confused.

Well, what type of wax did you think I'd use?

I dunno. Maybe Palmers or something.

Nope. No Palmers. I just get this.

Although I got the feeling it was throwaway line, I was instantly intrigued as to how I could be so particularly defined as a type of wax? And why it even matters?

I've known Joe for ages but I hadn't ever surfed with him til he recently began dabbling in longboards. He's a good surfer but usually surfs much different breaks than me, and I think he is kind of surprised to be in the water with me now.

I also think he had a host of assumptions about me and surfing before we first surfed together the other evening.

The next morning I bumped into him and some other friends down at the shops and we all got talking about surfing and longbording. Like quite a few people I know, the other guys don't EVER ride longboards (no, never, ever, not at all and don't even bring it up because they will shun you like you have the plague!) and they were wondering why Joe is longboarding more at the moment,

I dunno actually. It's fun. It feels different. A different experience.

The other guys look unconvinced and one of them, Rob, pipes up,

I'll never ride a mal. Not til I'm old and fat and can't ride anything else.

I roll my eyes at him, drink from my coffee and stay quiet. Why bother arguing? I don't care anyway. I don't care how or where or what he surfs, or why. He might as well surf on the moon for all it bothers me. He surfs his way and thinks it's the only way and doesn't really rate any other approach to surfing. Thruster, fast waves, barrels: that's Rob.

And that's fine. I have loads of friends who surf like that, but I don't and it doesn't mean I have to and it doesn't mean I want to. And it doesn't mean I have to be so close-minded about the ways that other people surf either.

Rob is looking at me, wanting me to bite. But I won't. I won't bite because despite all the shit he gives me, I've realised something that he doesn't know...

...we both use Orange Sex Wax.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A city for lovers

No matter how many times I see it, this ad for the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup in Paris just never gets less excellent.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Making friends with the water

A few years ago I was talking to a friend about surfing and why he loves it so much, and something that he said then has stuck with me and I often think about it when I'm in the water.

And although my memory fades and his precise words fail me, he said something like this,

Sometimes surfing feels like a friendship. It can be as deep as that, which sounds like a cliché. But when you need to, you can go out in the water and just be cool and not talk and you feel better. It's not like a sport, or a lifestyle or anything, but, well, the wave's a mate.

I think it's sweet.

Photo hijacked from The Endless Bummer

Monday, August 10, 2009


I don't even care if it's totally doctored (worst sound effects ever!). It's funny!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The last day of the winter sun.

"I'm sorry"

These are the words I don't ever want to hear again.

They are words that are used to express regret, apology, forgiveness, but it seems to me that they are actually connected to sadness, pain, hurt, exhaustion and anger. That they're just the words we say when there are no other words left.

They're words that I've heard both too much and not at all. They're the words that sometimes I ache to hear but that often just clang through my head like church bells, ringing through my thoughts and heart whether I want to hear them or not.

"It's my fault, I'm sorry"

"I'm sorry but that's not possible"

"I'm sorry, I lied"

"I'm so sorry to tell you this, but..."

They're words that bring you to your knees and push you down into a chair just so you can cope with hearing them. They're words that sting and punch.

They're words that break your heart.

They're the words you say when there are no other words left.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Some things just make life worth living!

Surf boot

The other day I was sitting in the water when I noticed one of the young, teenage crew that I haven't seen in a while. I waved at her and she paddled over to say hi and as she did, I noticed that she was wearing what looked like a massive, black, plastic ski-boot, but only one one leg! As she got near me, I laughed at her,

What's that all about?

Oh, I broke my leg! But I'm sick of not surfing so, yeah.

Jeez, are you serious? Is it ok to be out here on it?

Oh, I had to get this thing on because I walked on it too much and it didn't heal...

Ummm, surfing on it might not help either!? And doesn't it make that boot stink?

I'm not really standing up though! And yeah, it gets wet and won't dry, but, whatever.

And she wasn't either. She would paddle into a wave on an old, borrowed McCoy and when she got it she would kneel on one leg with the other one bent behind her.

She gets a full ten points for enthusiasm!

Monday, August 03, 2009

In the boot

I really love owning a car.

I don't know if I'm supposed to say that, but I do. It's not about status or anything, it's about access and freedom. If I didn't have a car, my life would become completely impossible and I would probably fall into a fairly significant pit of despair. I know that sounds melodramatic, but at this point in my life, my car enables my life to run the way I want it to, the way I need it to. Living between two different places that are a couple of hours apart and being a surfer of the longboarding variety, a car comes in handy.

This car, Agatha (Aggie), is my third car after Emily (white '79 Corolla) and Ruby (maroon '93 Excel), and while she is in no way my favourite (Em will forever claim that revered title), she is my most user friendly. The best thing about her is that my board fits INSIDE, and the worst thing is there's no cup holder - it really annoys me.

The boot has lots of room and I keep a roll call of items in there at all times. I have a plastic box that contains;
  • a selection of swimmers
  • vest
  • tie-downs
  • sunscreen
  • fin key
  • wax
  • 4 clothes pegs (!!?)
  • legropes
  • (I used to have moisturiser in there too, but somehow I've let that slide. I must fix that.)

I have two towels, a sleeping bag, and a rain jacket and I also keep a t-shirt, tights, socks and trainers to run in. There's also usually some skanky old bottle of water floating around as well.

If nothing else, I'm prepared.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Social lines

I got the funniest wave I've ever caught yesterday...

Every evening that I've been home for the past few weeks has been spent at one of my favourite breaks, which also happens to be one of the busiest breaks IN THE WORLD*!! The waves haven't been anything mind-blowing, but they've been fun and so, so long and glassy, and even thought it's the middle of winter here, it's been incredibly warm and you can surf happily til well after sundown! Basically, it's not a bad way to end your day!

Anyway, last night Jules and I paddled out at about 5pm, hoping to get a couple of waves before it got too dark. It looked crowded, but no-one seemed to be dropping in much. We walked out through the shin-deep water to the rocks, and sat on our boards, waiting for something worth paddling for. I didn't wait long til something soft, glassy and fat came my way, so I paddled into it and set a little line (not much else to do on waves that fat!).

The wave seemed to go for ages and as I was gliding along it was like a massive catch up session, with smiles, hollers, waves and calls of 'Hey Bec!' flying at me from every direction. I saw more crew on that 10 second wave than I have seen all week! Jules, Brett, Ev, Hals, Erin, Raf, Sage, Paul, Tom, Adam, Ang, Drew... It was hilarious. As the wave faded, I fell laughing into the warm water, and paddled back out, surfing and laughing with friends til it became too dark to see...

*this may or may not be a slight exaggeration - mostly not.