Surfing is always a bit of an unknown. For me especially. I mean, mostly it just feels like a leap of faith that things will work out, and to be honest I still feel amazed whenever I stand up on a wave. Only because, well, it's rally amazing to be able to ride a wave like that, don't you think? And then there are those days when things work out that weren't meant to work out and you think... okay.
So, I'm thinking of a wave I got the other day. It was so nice out in the water - long, peeling, clean, 3-4 foot, and sunny. Like, wow. It was kind of crowded though, so I did my special trick of sitting wide and waiting for the big, wide sets to come through - the inconsistent sets that scuttle everyone on the inside, leaving the wave for me. It means I spend time looking like a moron sitting on my own, but it seems to work well enough. At one stage I abandoned this plan for one of the smaller sneaky inside waves that were coming through. I was keeping an eye on the horizon though as the inside wasn't a place to get caught out if you could avoid it. Which I didn't...
And so I found myself rolling upside down, clutching my board to my chest to make it under the broken wash crashing towards me. I felt it hit and catch just under the nose and lift me up, flipping and spinning me around while I held tight to my board, straining not to lose it. I emerged into the light and found flying along towards shore in the whitewater. Well, I guessed I was, because I had a face full of water and couldn't get my eyes open. But then everything smoothed out, and when I opened my eyes I realised I was perched right in the pocket, screaming down the face. What? I started laughing and clambered, gracelessly, to my feet, taking off down the face for the remaining short distance it had left to travel.
I can't imagine how that looked from shore - funny at best, formless and kooky at worst. But on a busy day a wave's a wave, so I'll take that. Also, I didn't lose my board, so that's always a win.