When you ride what ya got..

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Surfnfish, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Surfnfish

    Surfnfish Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    First trip to Indo back in early 90's, first paddle out at Ulu...bit overhead, glass, fun walls with some tube sections, pretty light crowd. Everyone pushing it pretty hard, a non-penalty day, lotta slashing and dicing, competent to highly competent surfers all.

    Few waves into the session, paddling back out after a wave, see this tall, super tanned, lithe goofy footer with dark hair stroke into a deep one cross-peak on the takeoff, set-up a tube which he slid cleanly through, slices a clean, restrained cutback off the whitewater, comes around and sets up a high line drive as he passes me by. The badly sunburned board under his feet looked to have leprosy.

    Hour later, the swell picks up a notch, what starts to be the first pulse in a new swell. Very quickly it becomes well overhead, with the odd DOH set standing up on the outside Temples reef before rolling into the racetrack section. What were walls are now barrels.

    I get lucky, score the first wave on a good set, pull out way down the line fully stoked. The rest of the set is hitting the reef, mesmerizing watching slotted perfection, so just slow stroking going back out, enjoying the show.

    Go over a half dozen waves, set still going, see the biggest wave so far stand up, the same guy on the mottled board takes off cross peak and disappears. I stop paddling, sit up on my board, hands up in the air, hooting top of my lungs, watching what up to this point in life was the best shaped wave I'd ever seen, spinning perfectly across the reef.

    Just watching this perfect, well overhead wave spinning towards me, assuming the rider had gotten sucked on the takeoff, just this apparently empty perfect tube. And then the wave suddenly gives a big heave, compresses, and a huge spray is ejected from the barrel, along with the mottled board, rider casually crouched, he gracefully rides the board momentum to its end, literally pulling to a stop just a few feet from me.

    Interesting chat we had, paddling back out together. From West Oz, he had been in Indo for 4 months, had broken every one of the four boards he had brought, several more purchased from travelling surfers, and was now down to an ancient 7'6 Lightening Bolt single fin he had found abandoned in the bushes above Bingin's. Not wanting to steal a board, he had asked around, surfers said it had been there for months, too beat up for anyone to claim. It was missing part of it's beak nose, had too many reef holes to count, the fin was warped to one side. Any written info on the board had long ago succumbed to the sun and salt.

    The surfer said, however, that despite all those issues the board still held the sweetest line going through a deep barrel, was remarkably composed in the most critical of conditions. Pretty much broke aside from his open return ticket, he said he would fly home once the board broke, something he had been telling himself every day for the past month. We bantered a bit about the history of the board, obviously at least 20 years old, who might have brought to Bali n the first place, the waves it had ridden.

    I never saw him again after that session, surfing some of the other reefs on Bali before heading to G-Land for a 3 week stay (which would redefine 'most perfect wave ever'). For the rest of that session, however, I saw him plenty, drawing classic, timeless lines in the tube, perched casually on a board someone had decided had finally run out of waves, was too badly damaged to paddle out on again.

    Were they wrong..
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  2. sonOsea

    sonOsea Active Member

    Apr 6, 2010
  3. Basenji703

    Basenji703 Active Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Virginia Beach, VA
  4. strez

    strez Active Member

    Mar 23, 2012
    Hamilton, Massachusetts
    That is a great story! Thanks for sharing!
  5. pintail

    pintail Active Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    LA, California
    Great story. Highlights the fact that it's the archer, not the arrow.
  6. Planktom

    Planktom Active Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Devon, UK
    Have a friend who just rides one board, regardless. He actually detests having to change up or even think about a quiver...

    Purgatory for me, but the idea is scarily liberating at the same time.
    JMJackFish and Tenfooter like this.
  7. Tenfooter

    Tenfooter Active Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    USA Rhode Island
    Before this addiction, back in Texas, I only had one board, a pop out Modern, 9 04' triple fin set up, shitty as it can be.
    And I was happy as a camper. I didn't know better. My only one board was all i knew and liked. I thought it was the coolest board of all.

    Then someone told me about Craigslist. And the diseased slowly started. Now is fully blown. And sometimes is too much.
    You got to ask : which one of the coopers will I ride today? Is it a day for the PTLW? Should I ride the JP? So many options.
    I miss those simple days.
    We are spoiled brats. We have everything we need and more. And still we are not satisfied or happy. Like modern kids.

    I read once about kids surfing in Cuba, they go and pick up the leftovers of boat repair, and made their boards like that, with any materials available.
    And they ride it like a treasure, and share the rides with many other kids.

    But we have to have the carbon fiber, custom made boards,heated vests, volan and blah blah blah
    JMJackFish, zippy and Planktom like this.
  8. pintail

    pintail Active Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    LA, California
    It would be nice to need only one board, but conditions vary so much that boards designed to be better-suited to the conditions are more fun to ride, and fun is what it's about.
    Planktom and shadydave like this.
  9. MDM

    MDM Active Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    USA New Hampshire
    What board ?
  10. Planktom

    Planktom Active Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Devon, UK
    Not one that many Jammers would wish to be stuck with - a 6'2" thruster!
    MDM likes this.

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