Over the last week I’ve surfed really good outer reef on Maui’s north shore. Good enough for four hours outer reef, then one hour at Lanes, then two more at the Harbor. A couple days later the south shore lit up. Two hours with my son on Saturday, five more on Sunday. Really a lot of fun, but nothing any good surf junkie hasn’t experienced. So this morning it was back for more. Unfortunately, the surf had dropped to less than half the size and the wind decided to sign it with it’s caressing touch ( a little choppy ).
Normally, considering all the surf I’d had lately, I would have turned right around and gone back to refueling for the next episode, but I had my buddy Pat along, who I’ve been trying to convert for some time now. He is really a good longboarder and after recalibrating for the extra volume, I’m sure would be worthy of the world tour within six months. Still, within ten minutes of surfing blown out knee to waist high, I was just about to pull the plug on this surf session when I noticed something.
Pat was having an absolute ball.
All teeth as Laird and I like to say. He was grinning from ear to ear and throwing the 9′6″ Naish I lent him all over the place. It was so obvious that I could see it from across the channel at the peak I was on( 200 yards away). I thought wow, I’d better go see what I was missing out on, so I paddled over to his peak. I could tell from the look on his face that the padlock in his brain holding his well forged surf mentality was on the verge of being opened and all the treasures of stand up paddle surfing were about to come pouring out.
For the next hour and a half I fed off of his stoke and had a great time myself. It was like a game of poker where we kept matching then raising each with our maneuvers. It really reminded me that it doesn’t have to be glassy with ten foot barrels to have a great time with this sport, it doesn’t even have to be good. It just needs to be done, and if you have a friend or two with you, the laughter seems to be just that much louder. Not a unique story to those of us that have done it, just a reminder that the door doesn’t close just because you’ve come through it. It makes me chuckle on the inside sometimes when I hear or see people get territorial, or complain when there are to many people out. How quickly we all forget that the kook on the inside was us not long ago, I know we all like to pretend that we were never a beginner, but if you surf, then you were a kook at one time. Even the great Kelly and Laird had to learn at some point. Try and remember that the next time you’re about to light somebody up for kooking out.