Friday, July 17, 2009

vive la vida loca

i gotta say that seeing this video makes me want to suit up & hit the waves again, bad feet & all. w/philip back in the country, i've gotten to chat w/him a couple of times & it always takes me back to my surfer days(tho philip actually still surfs). for me, surfing had everything you'd want in a sport: danger, athleticism, water. it could be a truly solo endeavor(i remember reading about my hero joey cabell, paddling out on his board w/some waterproof matches to surf totally inaccessible breaks on kauai)but was also a communal one. the small group of winter surfers back when i started felt like being in a pioneer community &, reading about the one guy who surfed mavericks out here for years by himself, just re-enforces the singular thrill of what surfing is all about.

i loved playing baseball as a kid. i wasn't bad either. i was promoted to the big boy league two years before everyone else because of my fielding at second base. still, being 5'5" meant never playing baseball beyond little league no matter how good a fielder i was. standing in the batter's box, waiting for a pitch delivered from some 6'2" glandular freak w/a beard at 16yo, was an excruciatingly humiliating experience. all they had to do was throw a fast ball at me once &, short of wetting myself, i was done for the day.

surfing opened up another field of athletic experience altogether. as beautiful as a ballpark is, nothing is as stunning as the great waters of world. as amazing as simple fielding plays in baseball are, the use of a completely natural occurence(a wave)& what you can accomplish on & w/it is more amazing. as satisfying as a hard fought victory can be, the pure bliss of a long good day of surfing is exhaustingly ecstatic.

the pororoca, a river tidal bore on the amazon, is stunning. there's a near ritualistic aspect to these things occurring twice a month & involving the moon. we didn't have something like this but we did ok w/the less than ritualistic gulf surf(hurricanes & winter being the keys to it). it's a simple thing for me to cast my mind back & see stanley & todd & ted & philip & george & walker & jim devries & boyd maves & brad english & yancy & glenn & beezar & the wood brothers & ken roose & john russo & seadog, all the gremmies & greats surfing p'cola beach. each had their own style & each added to the surfing community one way or another.

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