Friday night and it’s late. You check the report and it confirms what you’ve been hearing – overhead plus and the swell is building. Your evening was spent scraping off the old wax and reapplying new base coat with just the right amount of wax on top. Pull out an old surf magazine to get you pumped, while you toss and turn all night from excitement.
It’s 6:30 am and you need to get up before your friend wakes up the rest of the house. A banana, granola bar, bottle of water and you’re off. The parking lot is packed. It’s big, crowded, and the nerves are starting to settle in. How big will it be? How many guys are out?
As you walk toward the beach, you can see the sets coming in. Consistent, overhead, slight offshore – everything is confirmed. You throw a bit more wax on top making sure it’s sticky. There is no room for error today. All your emotions are kept in check. Everyone is thinking the same thing, but no one is talking. Finally your buddy says, “Let’s keep an eye out for each other today”. Smart move. Just then you look out to see some guy take off on an outer set. The unknown surfer makes his drop and rips across the top and back down the wave - totally fluid and in complete control. The next wave was walled up. You could hear the thunder crash – not a good place to be. Wave selection would be key.
As you paddle out, you feel the push of adrenaline. Your arms are digging in deep and your head is down – time to get out. Something is building outside and the moment of truth comes. You are not going to make it. You look over your shoulder and there are three guys to your left within 10 feet. There is no room for error – you have to hang on to your board. You duck dive deeper than ever before, but the wave cleans up every single one of you. You grab your board and paddle hard through the foam. You can still feel the current under your board pulling you back. This is the time when you wish you were paddle strong.
You cut through the last wave as you make it out into the line up. You made it. You catch your breath and look for your friend. All is good and your confidence starts to grow. You can see a left lining up and no one in site. The last set washed everyone in –it’s all you. Two paddles and a slight push and you can feel the power. As you look down the line, you can see the envious faces just before they dive under.
The wave is living. It’s breathing, stretching, sucking, and pushing all while you are riding on it’s back, rolling in it’s stomach, and sliding off it’s shoulder. Living energy is the only way to describe this feeling. Complete respect for the source.
And just as you cut out and start to paddle back out, still feeling the adrenaline racing through your veins, you want to tell everyone who understands that feeling. That feeling that life is very cool right now.
Is it that simple or does it have more meaning behind it. Can it all be captured in one wave? Complete synchronicity. Has the source revealed itself? Or does the search continue.