Heading South

Standing on the curb and I was still in a daze. I’d only been out of bed for ten minutes and here I was, standing in the same board shorts I’d slept in with a t-shirt thrown over my shoulders that smelt of smoke. At my feet were my surfboard, my wetsuit and a towel. I’d only had time to take a piss and brew a cuppa and now I stood calm in the fresh morning air, my hands wrapped around the hot mug.

I’d woken to Timmy calling me; he was in the van heading to my place. There’d been no waves for weeks but today the wind had dropped. We were heading to South-wall, it’s exposed so if there’s any swell to be had it’s here that you’ll get to throw a few turns.

You can hear the Nissan Urvan coming for k’s. There’s no need to honk when you’re out-the-front in this beast, even her idle has a satisfying rumble, just enough to turn a few heads, but not enough to piss off the neighbours.

We shared high fives and smiles and with boards slung in the back we were cruising. The light was bright as it flashed through the trees, we discussed the wind, the spots and whether to get coffee pre or post.

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We checked a few spots but it didn’t take us long to settle on South Wall. It’s a bit of a drive and there’s the novelty of a car ferry. When you’re on a surf mission it’s a change of pace to cross the river on a barge, but it must be a painful inconvenience for those in a hurry to get to work, them’s the breaks when you live in paradise.

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We pulled up to see the car park already near capacity. It meant a crowded lineup but it also meant there’d be waves.

We wore easy smiles as we piled out of a van; it’s a unique sense of calm that comes from having a day with no deadlines, with only the waves to worry about, with your buddies and a vehicle from the 80’s.

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Standing on the dunes the sun was hot despite the early hour; it was irrelevant, our attention was on the waves, it was on. We dashed back to the van, kicking sand and taking photos. Wetties on, keys shoved under the wheel and back over the dunes. The water was cold and there was a solid wedge forming off the break wall. I dropped into a wide one, I was late but I made the drop to face a clean wall and a couple of backhand turns before it shut-down.

The shorey was pounding the sand, we all ate shit a few times; we were all smiling. Back on the beach the sun was warm on our skin after the frigid water.

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In the car park we had the van doors swung open and the sun on our backs. Voices got louder and stories more outrageous. The post-surf carpark banter is a ritual; it’s as much a part of the session as the surfing that precedes it and the most vital ingredient is having no rush to be anywhere else.

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