Yesterday, the storm had passed. Tropical storm Hanna blew through with minimal consequence. In fact, the worry that preceded the storm largely outweighed the storm itself. Things have a way of doing that...
As the sun came out, the calm that usually follows such precipitous fury blanketed my home island of Hilton Head, SC. It felt like, after a long, tense week, the earth had finally relaxed.
The water was smooth. The sky was a crystal blue. The sun was high and white and warm.
The aftermath of Hanna had created ideal conditions to surf in. The waves were rolling through in sets, about hip high and the wind was offshore. Perfect longboarding conditions. Even if I hadn't ridden my 9'4" in nearly a year.
Lugging that monster of a board into the water was oddly comforting. It was after all, the board I learned to surf on. It had seen plenty of action in its day and had long since stopped being the prettiest plank of foam and fiberglass on the block.
It was dinged and chipped. It had duct tape covering up a significant gouge on its nose. Sand had found its way into the wax from lending it out to too many people who didn't feel the need to take care of it properly or watch what they were doing. But it was right and familiar and safe.
It took awhile to get used to riding it again. It was a single fin set-up and lacked that side bites I was used to having which allowed me to corner in the waves with much more abruptness. Riding a longboard is much more subtle. I took some diggers early and had to laugh at the spectacular feeling of giddiness I was feeling at the seemingly foreign affair of it all.
Yet, paddling that big canoe of a board around again seemed effortless in these particular conditions. I never got tired. I sat deep, just waiting and watching. Time and time again I got to familiarize myself with my equipment, grabbing waves with ease and by the end of my session, I had brought the board back under some semblance of control.
It made for a beautiful day. A day of peace. Even when the four foot gray-black shark jumped completely out of the water 25 yards away from me while chasing bait fish for lunch.
Oddly enough I was not frightened in the least. I thought it was beautiful. I knew the sharks were not there for me yesterday. I knew it was simply a day to get back to my roots and surf.
Now, I ask you, does there seem to more to surfing than just surfing? Or is it just me?
Keep it simple...