Part of the fun of a surf trip is going somewhere different. The culture, the people, and of course, the food. Depending on where you’ve gone, street tacos, nasi goreng, or that soup with mystery chunks of meat are all delicious, but every now and again they can wreak havoc with your sensitive, unacclimated guts. Sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go… and you gotta go right now. And, While it’s not a situation you ever want to be in, like they say, everybody poops. Laird Hamilton doesn’t do it because he believes, much like menstrual blood, it attracts sharks.
So when paddling to shore is simply not an option, here are some very important rules about the most disgusting and embarrassing place to take a dump.
1. Paddle, you asshole.
There’s nothing worse than the person (it’s probably going to be a guy, though), who takes a close-proximity aqua dump. Paddle far away. Like, really far away. Then paddle farther. Go well past the point. Go well past where any waves are breaking at all. Preferably, you can find a rip to get stuck in and let it carry you to the middle of the ocean. Then paddle a little farther.
2. Knees up, board for protection.
When you’re sufficiently far away (out of earshot/eyesight, if you’re doing it right), whip the skivvies down around your ankles. Place your board in front of you, perpendicular to your body and up on a rail. This way, when the inevitable happens, you’ll have a shield.
3. Learn to scull, or wear the consequences.
After completion of the aqua-dump, release the board. You’ll be tempted to pull your bottoms back up, but be warned: and early pull up can have dire consequences. In the water, you’ll be forced to roll forward to grab them, but that puts your face directly in harm’s way. Sculling is a key component in escaping your putrid outpouring. With your knees still up around your chest, extend your arms straight out, rotate your palms, and push the water forward and downward. Then reverse the motion, and get the hell away from what you just did, you disgusting excuse for a human being.
4. Act casual.
Under no circumstances should anyone know what you’re doing. As I said before, you should be far enough away that no one can even see you, but on the off chance that you couldn’t make it that far–aqua-dumping is generally reserved for emergencies, after all–do NOT grunt, moan, splash, or do anything that even slightly resembles the act of aqua-dumping. Simply float, staring out at the horizon, as though you’re only out there to get a better look at a passing freighter, that, if you’ve paddled far enough away, should be about five feet away from you.
5.The fifth rule of the aqua dump is you do not talk about the aqua dump.
When you paddle back to the lineup, you may encounter a few strange looks. Everyone will suspect that you just sullied the pristine waters with your violent anal outburst, but you must not, under any circumstance, admit to what you just did.
Editor’s Note: As it turns out, the venerable Rory Parker had his own take on the aqua dump a few years ago. Read that here.