Today I went surfing.
The last few weeks have been driving me mental with what I've come to realise are dreaded seasonal winds. They're strong and relentless and filled with rain, and they've been getting in my head and stressing me out. As in, I've a constant headache for the past couple of weeks. Over the weekend, however, they relented and I was back on the beach and back in the sea. Bliss!
So today when I noticed the wind coming up again, I rushed down to get some waves before carrying a longboard became impossible. The waves were solid and long and fun.* Sets were coming through wide and cleaning up the lineup, so my longboard and I sat wide to keep out of the periodical carnage.
The crew out were chilled and quiet. People say hello and give you a smile or at the very least, a head flick. It was mainly shortboarders of course, but there was one other longboarder and a couple of SUPs out too. One of the SUP guys paddled over to me and, as happens a lot here, commented on my board and we exchanged a few words.
That's a really nice board. Looks fun.
Yeah, thanks. I love it! It goes so well for me.
Looks like it was made for you.
It was! Gary Burden made it.
Yeah right. Looks like a chick's board.
At first I thought I'd misheard him, so I checked.
Did you say it looks like a chick's board?
Yes, a chick's board.
I laughed and explained, Well, it was made for me, and I'm a chick, so I guess that's just how things worked out.
Yeah. A chick's board, he said one last time as he paddled off. I kept laughing. I didn't get the feeling that he was trying to be insulting or patronising, but you never know. I mean, maybe he's Regina George in disguise...
Of course, he's a middle-aged white guy on a SUP, so he's a surfing cliche all of his very own.
I'm not exactly sure what makes my board look like a 'chick's board'. It might be the beautiful turquoise blue fabric that's across the nose.
But I can't take much credit for that. The fabric was Gary's and he suggested it would look good. He was stoked on it, actually. Maybe it's that a chick was riding it? Nonetheless, as it turns out, I ride a chicks' board.
*Wind's in it now so don't bother.