Words by Eli Curry. Photos by Simon Chipper
There’s this story amongst the crusty old cynics of the surfboard industry that whenever you get a new board the ocean shits itself. Nine times out of ten that is the case. But this time around, I was kissed by a gypsy.
I got the call. She was to be ready on a Thursday afternoon. With the knowledge that I had Friday off, and that there was the potential of waves at one of my favourite island reef slabs, I went in to see the boys out the back. Hands were shook, thanks were given and out the door I was with my new partner in crime, smiling from ear to ear.
Gaining years, you’d think that the excitement of a new board would subside? But nup, there I am, on the couch with her smirking like the cat that got the cream, caressing the curves that my man, Glyndyn Ringrose, had carefully crafted, absolutely jumping out of my skin at the prospects of the next morning’s waves with her.
I arranged to meet my father, who was not two days back from a three month sojourn to Indonesia, in the carpark on the sparrow fart to asses the conditions. He was keen to shoot some shots on his new camera, and who was I to argue?
Through the darkness we could see that it was on, not coming out of the sky, but a healthy enough size, and being caressed by our lovely old friend the Northerly.
Given that the old man hadn’t felt the chill of the Southern Ocean for awhile, I was taking great pleasure in telling him how cold it was. In turn, he chucked every piece of rubber he owned on: hood, boots, gloves, the whole kit! Off we chugged off down the beach, my old man only missing the ball in the mouth to complete the gimp look. Under my arm was six foot one worth of fun, with a six and a half inch single fin and two small outrigger fins to help me hold on.
Slimbo, the glasser, wasn’t at all pleased with the idea of having to revert to his past when I asked him to give it the full orange tint, but after a the added effort, he was as proud as punch with the finished result. In the twilight, she glowed like a beacon, a beacon I was chomping at the bit to get into the ocean.
It doesn’t happen often, but every now and again you know as soon as you lay on a board it’s all perfect.. the proportions of new girl were all perfect, she paddled like a dream, yet you could tell with the thinness in the tail there was going to be the sensitivity that I wanted. So far so good…
There was only two other people out on my way into the lineup. Paddling past the inside bowl a set poured through. With a smidgen of south in the swell, the peak swung a little wider then usual, making the inside bowl horseshoe even more than usual and intensifying as it grew down the reef. As I stroked up this bending, twisting beauty and it spat at my face with disrespect, a disrespect I am willing to accept and challenge for the rest of my life.
Here is my fight…