Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Tomfoolary

So in surfing, as with most things, when you're fooling around and not really paying attention, things generally take a dog leg turn into trouble and last week this was the case for me. It was last Tuesday, a gray and foggy day with waist high waves. As I pulled into the the 2nd beach parking lot I saw Cheyne's wife Anya pulling out. We talked for a minute and she told me that she just dropped him off and that I should get out there and surf even though it was small and gray.

It was a fickle day in which the waves had a little size but not push. The kind you paddle for, glide on the top and then just fade off the back while scratching your head as to why you couldn't catch a waist high wave. Cheyne was on a longboard and I on my fish. One of us would get one here and then a few minutes of chatter and then another wave. This lasted for a little while until there was a slight push and we started trading waves at a regular pace and well...I was goofing off.

These were waves that you dropped in on and then made a turn and the ride was basically over. So when I looked down the line and saw the wave setting up I got a little excited and looked to go off the top as hard as possible. I pumped three times down the line, good hard movements that pushed me faster and right before the whitewater I flicked my fish up to the lip and pushed off for a floater. In my haste, or lack there of, I failed to notice that while I was gaining speed I was loosing water. I found the top, I left the wave with my fish still under my feet, I looked down and saw maybe a foot of water and kicked the board away and turned in mid-air and then "crack." I was under water for a second maybe two but that's all it took. I had slammed my right shoulder onto the sand which was as hard a pavement. I got up and immediately checked the range of my neck and said a quick prayer of thanks that it was only my shoulder.

Like any other guy I said fuck it and kept surfing, it hurt but not that bad...well, I'm not fully incapacitated but I don't think I could throw a baseball 90 feet right now so...I'll prob still go try and surf this evening anyway...

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Simple Request

Please be grateful for those you have in your life...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Text messages from today:

M: "...What are ur plans for this evening"
G: "...cruise by 2nd to see if there's anything surfable"
M: "Surfing! Get back on that horse!"

For the first time since early last fall I found myself in the beat-up parking lot of the Surfer's End at Second Beach with my fish strapped to the roof racks and a crumbled up wetsuit in the back of my truck. As I was getting out of my truck my friend William Hogg drove up in his pick-up and we started the chatter that I've missed so much. The tales from last night and how the swell was in the morning when he paddled out. I pulled the fish off the racks and let him give it a once over. We talked size and where did you get it's which led to talking story about our days out in California. We met here in Rhody but were surfing the same breaks at the same time back west...small world, smaller when you stay on the coasts.

It was small, to be honest but as I said to Hogg on his way out: "Yea, I'm just gonna go out and put a smile on my face." And that I did. As I like to do in these conditions, I made my first wave a dry hair affair (where you don't duckdive or go all the way under until after your first wave). I turned and stroked into the first wave that came to me: pushed up on the rails, paused for a second, popped going left, a little bottom turn back up to the whitewash, then a few pumps, around a tiny section into some more wash and turned the nose back out to the line-up. Huge smile on my face.

There were a few others out this evening, including a father and son. The kid, maybe 10, was riding a twin fined fish and is on the verge of being a ripper. After one of my rides I looked to the west and saw this kid doing a full on rail grab lean into his wave, I just stood there pumping my fist for him...it was a great first day out.

little turns, little rail grabs into little close-outs:::big fun

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A new, Again...

So I'm back to posting again for many reasons but one in particular. I was having a conversation into the evening last night and I was prodded about why I don't talk or write about surfing anymore. When I was asked upon this subject I sipped the Oyster Bay that was in front of me and wondered the same thing to myself. The answer lies is the fact that I had to undergo hernia surgery this winter and my condition had sidelined me for most of the fall. And well, I had to step away from what I love...and I didn't know how to cope with it all.

I was removed from many aspects of my life but took that time to develop many other aspects of my life, foremost my photography: http://www.garrettseiple.com/ (yes, it's a shameless plug but it's my blog so deal with it!)

I'm back in good health and am looking forward to a fruitful summer of longboarding to condition myself for the fall swell.

Many more posts to come...thank you for the talk last night.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What Ended up Happening

Kaveman and I ended up going to First with our boards and went for a paddle. We forded the ankle bitter waves and went out to the buoys. I did a couple of bad back-flips off my board and wrestled the buoy for a minute. A fun little exercise in plain fun. We ended up in the tiny waves just standing next to our boards and talking until a knee high wave would come when we would jump on our boards, pop up and just make fools of ourselves. Par for the course if you ask me: no waves - good friends make the best of it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Welcome Stillness

It's a beautiful Monday here in Sachuest, Rhode Island. There is a stillness to the water that is so perfect that it actually redeems itself for not having any swell. It is a perfect summer day and I am inside hammering away on the keyboard, and shockingly, am pretty much, maybe, for the moment, ok with being inside. It could be the conversation I'm having with an old friend on the west coast as she sits in her office in L.A.. It could be the random mix of Slightly Stoopid, The Expandables, Jack Johnson, Sublime, G. Love and Ziggy that is streaming off the internet from Pandora Radio. Or it could simply be that I am taking solace in the fact that I have a few hours to do some laundry done, get my banking straight, drink cup after cup of coffee and just forget that work begins again in some 17 hours. The sun has another 5 hours before it sets and that beautiful blue isn't going anywhere, so I lean back take another sip.

I guess this isn't a post about the swell so much as a post about preparing the mental and preparing my surroundings for the swell. Maybe later I'll grab a summer brew and finally strip the wax off my Becker and get her ready for the hurricane swell that is soon to arrive. Or maybe I'll rush off to catch sunset with my camera or catch sunset with a friend over some dinner. Or maybe I'll just go to the beach and disturb the stillness because, well, I can't sit still for that long.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Understanding

It's two in the morning and I have found this hour once again in the fashion of being too tired to do anything but sit in front of my computer and too awake from work to simply go to sleep. I have a Newcastle in my hands ( I silently wish I had a brown ale from Landon, I won't tell the Newcastle that but it's the simple late night truth). Daniel's music plays on my speakers, Lying in the Grass to be specific, and I'm kind of enjoying listening to something beautiful and understanding what every word means to the author. An ideal that I spoke of the other day to an old new friend. The ideal that I have a first hand understanding of Daniel's music, where his lyrics come from and how I can feel where he found the inspiration for the chords which match the days and nights we spent living his lyrics. And I think it's the simple fact of understanding which drives me to write in this early morning.

My first posts, back in California, were to help me make right a situation which I had let get out of control. Then my writings evolved to mirror my growth and my little day to day adventures. Now being back in the shelter of what I know best, I am enjoying having a strong understanding of the hows and whys to what makes me content and, well, happy for a better word. I have recently seen this in myself while bartending at Castle Hill, of all places. Daily I have hundreds of people come into my life, for short periods of time, and look to me to educate them on what it is that awes them so in this little piece of heaven. And, well, I can tell them how the tides work, where their fish, scallops, and oysters come from, and as was the case on Tuesday, when the weather will change. I felt the wind change, I stepped outside of my cabana bar, looked at the flag pinned in an east wind and said that we would start getting weather at 9:30. I was about 20 minutes off.

This summer we have been fortunate enough to have some early action in Caribbean and subsequently have experienced some early hurricane swell. Nothing of huge proportions but enough to keep us surfers chatty and excited. Daniel, Kevin and I scored a great session and an even better day the day after my birthday. As if surfing with them wasn't good enough, I surfed with this understanding in my mind. I will not proclaim that I was the best out there or that my knowledge makes me better in the water than anyone else but I will say that it grounds and focuses me. I find myself slipping off my board more and more often to dive the length of my leash and find the colder water away from the surface. Simply trying to soak up the solace that comes from being under water where I am but an awed visitor. Hurricane, by Daniel, plays now and it's fitting for it's my favorite song of his for it is about the storms which we have pounded our coast and how they have molded us into the men that we are today. "Hurricane won't you come my way," he sings and then continues, "My coast has been waiting on your waves." This is what we know, this is what we are and we are privileged to be molded by these storms. Anybody with any skill can come and surf the waves we do here on our beaches and our points, however it takes a true understanding of the lore and love of this point to find the shore after a waist to chest high day and be completely satisfied. A simple understanding that has taken 28 years to find me...