For health reasons I have to stay out of the water for the next couple weeks so I am dreaming about surfing, thinking about surfing, writing about surfing, doing everything but actually getting wet.
In any given session I paddle over whitewash, holding myself up like I’m doing a pushup on the board while I paddle out toward the lineup to keep my momentum going, so I’m not pushed back towards the shore. The whitewater sweeps underneath me, brushes my nose, chills my hands. I paddle to take off—so much paddling, just always paddling—going right and gauge the angle of my rail in relation to the face of the wave. I balance. After the wave peters out and I paddle back out, I park myself in the water next to my board to pee and hope no shark swimming by mistakes my vertical body for a seal. I think about confidence.
I sit on my log in the lineup, waiting, watching the horizon (no glasses, no contacts, just vibes) in between bits of conversation. I say hi to everybody; I’m from a small town. I call my board a log ...