I’m hoping that’s because when I’m in the water I’m pretty laid back. I never snake. I only ever drop in by accident – and I’ll always pull out and apologise. I’ll always give a local priority. I try to be nice and chat to people in between sets.
I’ve hit some pretty crowded and localised breaks during my travels – and indeed at home – and I’ve never really had any bad vibes in the water. Until today, when some obnoxious local decided to be a right dickhead and ruined my session.
I’d gone for a mid-morning surf at The Wreck in Byron – the waves were pretty small compared with the last few days (it’s been pumping) but there were some nice sets rolling through and a lot of them were clearly lefts – stoked.
I paddled out no worries, avoiding the dumping sandbank, and set myself up among the small group already out – mainly longboarders but with a few smaller sticks out there too. I sat there for a while waiting for the pack to rotate and picked a nice wave rolling in as my first.
I was sat quite far out and was clearly paddling early and going to peel left.
Then some freaking local dude snaked right in as I was mid-pop. The next thing I know, he’s peeled right and collided with my board!
Him peeling right caught me well off-guard – the right-hand side of the Wreck contains all manner of twisted metal and nasty stuff, so it’s only really a right at high tide.
We both decked it, and on surfacing I did some damage control (despite him being in the wrong). I apologised and expected him to say “no worries” and us both to paddle back out and get on with our session, simply writing off that wave. I guessed it was an honest mistake, the result of a lack of communication.
This guy squared right up to me and started mouthing off – then started pushing me around.
HE snaked me.
HE collided with me.
No boards were dinged, and no-one was hurt. So what the hell was his deal?!
And on top of that he decided to go one further – telling me that he was going to be on my back all session and “making sure I didn’t get another wave”.
Jesus Christ – what sort of vibe is that?!
So I thought sod it. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with people being like that today and got out and moved to a different spot. But it’s still puzzling me now. Why, on a moderate day, with only a small pack out, would anyone get that worked up?
Chill the fuck out!
Let’s not forget why we surf – it’s our passion. Somewhere along the way, a minority of surfers forgot that. They forgot that we’re all in the same ocean; forgot that there’s plenty of waves; forgot the very basis on which surf culture is founded – laid-back people enjoying and harnessing nature to have fun.
Let’s not lose that vibe, people.
Keep the stoke.
…I’m sure karma will get that dickhead surfer though. Sweet, sweet karma!