The Bum Trip

Surf trips don’t always work out for the best. You don’t always get waves, the weather can be crap, your accommodation can burn down and there’s the inevitable rolling of the rental car into some poor sod’s house when you drive back from the local fleshpot smashed out of your mind.

We’ve all done that.

Some trips go good, some go bad and some end up with you face down, unconscious, with your hands gaffa-taped to the side of your head; whilst half a bottle of Jack does it best to melt your brain into liquid snot. These things happen, they’re unavoidable.

It’s the trips where the surf is lacking that things tend to go the wrongest. If you surf all day you’re knackered, you eat, you pick sand out of your hair and you fall asleep on the sofa/bed/partner.

When there’s no surf people get bored, especially ADD surfers with a four-second attention span. A day or so and there’s a polite consensus to keeps things civilised. After a week the inmates take over the asylum. It’s a given.

Scraping by through onshores, no surf or general bad luck in Indo or the Canaries isn’t too much hassle; you can eat and drink cheaply, it’s warm and life ain’t too bad. They’re pretty mellow about the rolling the rental car thing and Jack is easily obtained.

Try doing it in Norway. Where it is a) fecking freezing b) insanely expensive c) gale force onshore, and has been for days, but bafflingly still flat d) minimum £6 a pint e) in some bizarre other world where people only actually go to the pub on Saturday night f) you need a bank loan to buy a half bottle of Jack.

Try doing it in Norway, and try doing it for two weeks. The shoebox sized rental motor has cost you £500 and comes with pedals. Every food item you purchase is five times the price at home. The biggest wave you’ve seen is a handsome thirteen inches and to rub salt into the open and weeping wound surfing is in fact banned at every reef. True. Surfing is banned from October to April, the entire surf season. All because of some bird watching Nazis that have a broomstick up their arses about surfers.

Look at a map of Norway, it has more coastline than any other country on earth, in fact the coast is so long it’s not been measured accurately (bizarre but true, countries can have a finite area but an infinitely long coastline, it’s a fractal thing, Google it). Back to the point, you’re telling me that in the country with more coastline that it knows what to do with, which is ninety eight percent rocky foreshore, these birds only feed and breed around the few places where rideable surf forms? There is bad luck, there’s bad trips and there’s getting royally cornholed.

Still Norway eh? Birds yeah? (the other kind) as the Norwegians explained, ‘Why do you think there are loads of attractive women in Norway and about three in your British islands? It’s because our Viking (pronounced ‘Wiking’, in the amusing “can’t do ‘V’ sounds” of Norwegian English) ancestors burned and pillaged your towns then stole all the pretty women from your country.’

There are lots of phenomenally attractive women in Norway, tis true. But no one goes out. At six quid a pint you ain’t gonna form any kind of drinking habit. So meeting all but smoking hot coffee shop waitresses is tough.

As trips go, it was a shocker, until the light at the end of the tunnel came: a Volcom party. We forgot about the fifteen quid for three bottle rounds of Heineken. We ignored the straight-edge, vegetarian, death metal band, we were so unaffected and ubercool we didn’t even realise we were drinking with Terje Hakkonsen (he’s lovely and only drinks red wine).

We, that being the royal we, got so drunk that when an attractive woman rocked up and started chatting us up we listened politely for a while before, apparently, standing up and saying plainly, ‘Excuse me, but I really must go and dance.’ With that I buggered off onto the dance floor (Slow Hands by Interpol was the confounded song btw).

We moved onto to another club, the visa (pronounced ‘Weezer’) card burning white hot by this point and got hit on by more attractive women. Like water off a ducks back. When your surf trip luck is shot you tend to forget that it’s all swings and roundabouts.

Next morning texts from Norwegian friends confirm the worst, you were golden, you were as they say: a shoe in.

You were so blinded by the booze and the this is the bum trip, this is the no waves and massive hole in pocket for nowt vibe that you failed to notice the model (yes, that said model, and not a hand model) trying to crack onto you.

Next time I’ll just get back to rolling the motor.

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