The Inertia Smartass
Always nice to be able to give a little chop-suey with minimal disturbance to your flow while on your backhand. Photo: Joli Photo:

Always nice to be able to give a little chop-suey with minimal disturbance to your flow while on your backhand. Photo: Joli

The Inertia

Although I’m a goofy fella, I’m a regular foot. And putzing around Southern California that’s generally an advantageous thing. It seems most of the great waves around here are rights. But when a tasty left does roll through, it’s such a brain-tingling treat. Like the sight of a slipped teat. And just like one of those, for me, they’re much harder to forget. And because you care so much about what I think, here’s how come I luh dem lefts so much.

1) When going backside, you don’t have to turn all the way around to hold up your middle fingers up or shove the kook you just dropped in on. You’re already more opened up to them. This frees you up to just teach them the lesson, then get quickly back to focusing on your wave. There are few things more frustrating than blowing a critical racey section on a right because you had to turn too much to slap the sucker you burned.

2) On my forehand, I’m always worried more about progressing the sport and getting sponsors than having fun. My bag of tricks going right is nearly as deep as Santa Claus’ Christmas satchel. Often, when eying a perfect section, I’ll find myself so paralyzed by whether to do a giant, flared out air reverse to nose pick, or, like, an incredibly elegant and violent fin-snapping slash, that I’ll often do neither at all. But going left I’ve got far fewer maneuvers to chose from. It minimizes decision-making so I can just have fun.

3) The view is better. When we regular footers go right, the wave dominates our field of vision as we focus on our decisions about where to “pushah” and “kiosk” and “whapah.” And let’s be frank, looking at a breaking wave can get down right tedious. I’d rather do my taxes. But going backhand, our whole field of vision is expanded. We get to see all the calm water inside, and the beach with all our adoring fans and photogs beyond that. Something about having your back to the wave, that cold shoulder disrespect that makes you feel bigger than. Especially when people are watching.


4) Going left makes simple re-entries a piece of organic, fair trade, ethically sourced, reiki kneaded, slavery-free, compassionately baked, regretfully sliced, gluten free cake. It’s so much easier to just redecorate, straight throwing curtains up going back side. You just torque the ol’ hips around, change the whole feng shui of the place, and set up for the next complete re model. NBD. It’s for sure easier to land back flips and rodeos too, as you’re already set up to rotate on that plane, making it so easy to just grab and go.

5) It makes getting barreled even easier, if that’s possible. You see the lip more clearly, and are therefore able to navigate her gentle fury with more panache. On a left tube, all you gotta do is just grab rail, dig ass, and get so deep in that little rent-controlled studio apartment ain’t no way you’re getting your security deposit back. That’s why Pipeline is such a joke of a wave for regular footers. It’s so easy I don’t even bother paddling out there.

So go forth and go left.


Editor’s Note: Read more revelations from the esteemed Mr. McCafferty here.


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