There’s nothing like four days of epic swell between friends!
There has been much written about the fact that surfing can lead to spiritual enlightenment, that it is the answer for a sore heart or an embattled soul. So much written in fact, that it has become a totally trite and twee subject that the writing thereof quickly pushes surfers away. Sometimes surfers just want to know that it’s a healthy sport that keeps you fit and keeps you in touch with life.
At this pointbreak however, things had descended into ugly. There hadn’t been real waves for ages, and the few little spurts and bursts had been so crowded that everyone was simply hating on each other. Name calling in the water moved onto the beach, and friends were having a go at each other, and all everyone did in the carpark, usually filled with good natured banter, was just talk about how they hated this guy, or how big a dick that guy was, or how they were going to fuck this other guy up if he even looked at one of their waves. It was tension with a capital T.
Then the first little bit of swell started showing. The maps were looking good. It looked too good to be true, and there were people who were naysaying the forecasts, but the swell started showing.
Everyone showed up for the first day of surf, and it was a fucking nightmare. Crowded surf, small takeoff zones, many people rusty and fucking up their takeoffs, and a whole bunch of blow-ins on a long weekend made for snarling, shouting, and drop ins. It was not enjoyable, but I for one, surfed through the crowds and the hassling, just trying to get my fitness back.
Day two of the swell was worse. The waves were way better, but now a lazy takeoff or a rusty bottom turn meant that you were going to get worked, washed over the rocks, break shins etc. Still, everyone was trying hard, and the locals were starting to get their rhythm back. There were even a few people greeting each other in the water again.
Day three and it all started happening. Along with the perfect waves at the point, a magical sand bank appeared at a beach around the corner, and some of the crowd dissipated and went and surfed there. On the point, the guys were starting to find their rhythm again and were charging on the big sets. Sometimes going over the falls, other times making heavy drops. No one was pulling back anymore. It was all starting to return to normal.
Day four of the swell was sublime. The crowds had thinned dramatically, as tired surfers started selecting specific sessions instead of pigheadedly trying to surf all day. There were some great performances, and locals and visitors started feeling their tube senses coming back. There was also a cool vibe in the water.
In the evening the local crew of about 15 were sitting next to the boil. The sets were six-foot, while the in-betweeners were a perfect four-foot. A set came through. We were all tired, sun burned and totally stoked by this stage. The first wave was an absolute bomb, and the guy on the sweet spot looked at it and put his hands in the air, signaling that he wasn't going. The guy next to him did the same, and the third guy swung around under the lip at the last minute, caught off guard by their reluctance. He got hit by the lip on his head so hard, that I couldn't stop laughing as I paddled next to him. I was laughing so hard that I lost concentration and went over the falls lying on my board.
When I surfaced there was a bunch of locals, friends and others, all having a good old laugh at a totally bungled set wave.
There were still two more days of firing surf to come, and every thing was finally returning back to normal.