Lately, surfing has been getting me down. My turns aren’t hard enough, my snaps aren’t vertical enough, I can’t land airs, and when I pull into tubes that I rarely pull out of, my stance looks like something out of sumo training camp. The crowds, the waves, my boards…all of it…I feel like Dante, midway through this life’s journey, in dark woods, the right road lost.
Today I paddled out unenthusiastically in a dying swell. After a few waves, I saw a out on an Australian clubby board, which for the uninitiated, looks like an eight-foot missile with a flat part on top where you lie and paddle. The Aussies use them to race in lifesaving competitions, and apparently to save the occasional life, though I’ve never actually witnessed the latter. Riding waves on them is usually done prone, or the knees at the very most.