So I started surfing again. Two reasons: #1, I missed it badly and was out of shape. #2, the current job I was involved with required it. The only way to get close to this dude was surf. He was a surfer, his mates all surfers and his contacts (mainly) surf as well. Basically I felt like I was living in my own Point Break movie. All we needed were a few ex-President face masks, a bit of sky diving and a 50-year storm! Good to go…
Today the sun was shining and a smooth 3ft wall was rolling through the bay. It hit a bank on the outside, which if you’re fit enough you can paddle into, ride to the inside, pump through the flat section and finish off with a nice walled up glide to the shallows. I wasn’t as fit as I should be (too many fags and bacon sangers). Therefore I opted to wait just inside of the reforming wall, as it started to fold into waist-deep water. At least I could (almost) be guaranteed speed on take-off and a decent section to carve on. Plus, it wasn’t too far away from where Mr B was riding.
Mr B – so-called because he buzzed about frantically when on land like a bumblebee – was a skilled longboarder. His two-step to the nose, drop knee cutties and high line trim and glide were top shelf. He even looked like a surfer! Hell, he looked like Bodie from the aforementioned surf flick… To be honest though he was mellower in the surf; not quite as frenetic. Instead his actions were more calculated. I guess this would be the same when on a job.
Suddenly a dark shadow appeared on the horizon. It looked like the biggest of the session so far, and I was in pole. I swung my 7fter’s nose towards the sand and head down jammed. In no time I felt the surge lift my single fin’s tail and ocean energy propel my board down the face. This was make or break time. ‘Don’t fluff it!’, I said to myself.
For me, I sprang up like a poised cat. I startled myself with how dexterous I’d been. So much so I nearly ate it. But Hui was with me on this wave and I kept my balance, grooving all the way down the line – that feeling any single fin rider will be all too aware of. Slicing one off the top at the end I jumped clear of my board and landed upright in knee-deep brine. As I turned to recover my board Mr B was there. He smiled, nodded in acknowledgement and paddled back out. Had I just made a connection?
Later, whilst getting changed in the car park, I spotted Mr B approaching from my left. I pretended not to notice and scrubbed my hair as dry as I could. It was warm. The sun beat down and everywhere you looked steaming surfers enjoyed the ambience. Banter was rife; animated chat of waves caught, rides ridden and how lush conditions were.
B arrived and I feigned surprise. ‘How’s it?’, he asked with confidence? I poked my head out from beneath the towel and smiled, ish. ‘Nice wave that last ride you had.’
‘Thanks’, I said.
‘Noticed you around a fair bit these last few weeks’. He folded his arms and whilst not threatening there was definitely an air. ‘I s’pose you know who I am?’, B continued. I nodded. He returned the smile, which for him was more a smirk.
For a moment we both held each other’s gaze. Just before things got awkward he gestured to his truck. ‘So you want some of that good, sticky white stuff?’ I blinked, waited a beat, then nodded. Mr B spun on his heel and headed off three vehicles down.
By now the carpark had started to empty. I looked around to see who was still there and watching – not many as it turned out. I shook the remaining water droplets from my head, chucked the towel in the back of the car and followed B. Arriving next to his truck he already had the rear open a crack. Pausing one last time he flung the boot open fully and said: ‘There you go, nature’s finest, sticky icky. All homemade, all-natural and all good.’
I peered in, my jaw nearly dropping to the floor as I gazed upon the goods. The smell hit me first. A sweet-smelling, perfumed aroma that filled my nostrils. The whiff instantly conjured up associated images of beaches, waves, palm trees and good times. I then reached in and gently ran my fingertip across the top of a block. Not quite soft and gooey but not rock solid either.
‘As I said, Mother Nature’s finest beeswax surfboard traction. Home-grown, homemade and 100% natural. Sweet as a nut isn’t it?’. I lifted my head and nodded. This sure wasn’t what I was expecting but it was pleasant none-the-less…
Don’t forget to check out the first and second parts of NCW Private via the links below.