Very Surfer Problems

Never before have I run into problems with other surfers in the water. It only took travelling half way around the world to one of the best waves I’ve ever surfed to encounter such issues. When I surf, I generally go alone, keep myself to myself and work on what I want to. I’m quite self critical, observing and analysing everything in depth, making mental notes about technique and the environment me. This is an internal process which unless told would be otherwise unknown to those around me.

The first instance occurred on day two here at Lakey Peak. An old guy, I believe goes by the name of Dougal. Dougal is on the peak as a head high set makes shape over the reef. He spins to go and sees me sat on my board about 3 meters from him. Instead of continuing to catch the wave, he tells me to “Fuck off” and paddles off. My first line of thought was self defence but, following my second line of thought I opted to paddle over and apologise and find out what I’d done to get under his skin. Dougal told me that me and my friends had been in his way several times. Waving off my apology he proceeded to tell me to “Fuck off” again.

I took it on the chin. Admittedly I did rant afterwards, but it appeared he had also appeared he had ranted about the ‘long necked pomme’ too! So I didn’t feel too bad for venting. With a night’s sleep under my belt, I decide I’d take Dougals’ advice. Although I was self sure I was right, there is every chance it was an oversight on my part. I had just come from surfing Bali where hassling and competing for waves is necessary to get anything over a wave count of three under your belt. If I brought this with me to sleepy Lakey Peak which upholds a reputation of turn taking in the water, I definitely did not mean to. I have a hard exterior but strong moral foundations of what is right & wrong.

Another week passes with no problems. The new strategy appears to be working just fine. Again, I’m not the biggest talker in the water, self focussed but a lot more conscientious of others around and the unique etiquette here at Lakeys; until this morning.

Paddling for a wave before 6.30am with 4/5 others in. Another Aussie (expletive language coming up) tells me to “Back of the wave c*”. This time I’m not impressed. This is from someone I’ve seen in the water a lot, shared waves with and respected his surfing. He continues to tell me, “you keep paddling out and taking a wave straight away, if you go for another wave like that I’ll follow you around making sure you don’t catch anything, you f* c*.”

This time I’m really not happy. This guy has just ruined my surf when I have a wave count of one. Feeling quite singled out. I decide to ignore this guy flat out and carry on with surfing the way I have been with no problems. I then proceed to watch him for the rest of the surf contradict himself over and over again. Quietly I keep this to myself, knowing that some people are just not worth an ounce of my time. An otherwise good surfer who I just lost total respect for. Leaving me questioning where on earth did the etiquette go for addressing issues with others? I suppose I am quite the traditionalist. Skateparks are just friendlier places.

In the words of the beatles “oh-da-dee, oh-da-dee, life goes on.”

More to tell, but there’s a lick.

Happy belated New Year.

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