If you want to surf in Byron Bay during summer, in the depths of the school holidays, then give up on any expectations about getting waves. However, what you can expect is thronging crowds, and getting snaked, dropped in on and interrupted on the few waves you manage to snare. You must compromise: speeding along int rim is awesome, but when there are 100+ people in your line, you have to turn your board. You have to accept being patient. I mean, you really have to love lineups. So when a few of us decided to go in for a surf in the worst of Byron's summer lineups - The Pass - we were dubious at best. There were uncertain conversations, there were 'Are you sure?' moments. But we went anyway. The sky was clear blue, the sun was shining, the water was like crystal and there was little swell leaving us few other options. And we figured everywhere was going to be busy anyway.
As I parked I saw Jules and Gary heading to their car. What's it like? I asked, hesitantly. Just don't expect anything, Jules laughed. But Gary piped up, I reckon you've caught it at a good time. A heap of people have been leaving.
We walked down the beach and paddled out into the fray. I got a wave. Terry got a wave. Jess got a wave. Then we all got more. And they were fun waves - long and clean with fast little sections! Then Izzy and Ryan arrived, and got waves too. Smiles spread across faces with exclamations of, This is pretty fun! We all surfed until the sun burned our eyes and faces. Stoked.
And I guess that's why we keep on surfing there. Because in amongst the craziness, in amongst the drop-ins and arguments and irritations, the place delivers in the most unexpected ways!