Way back when the kids were little my oldest, Joey, was a Batman freak.
He never got out of his Bat suit, and I still have stashed away about ten plastic Bat masks, all stuck together with sticky tape, each one a study in the trials and tribulations of Applied Batness. The little chap lived the part.
He'd draw him, we had bat ropes out the back, and bat hides through the house.
Around the same time I was the proud owner of a custom 7'6" Wayne Lynch gun, a lovely board I enjoyed most at one of our deep south breaks, one I've referred to before, sometimes called Boneyards, or Elevators, and most popularly, Massacre. It's a break with a lot of history, the good ship Falls of Halladale lies on the bottom in the channel, and the point it sits off is the site of an appalling atrocity against the local aborigines in the days of early settlement.
So it has its ghosts, plenty of atmosphere and it's a bloody fun wave too, grunt in spades, rarely crowded and it will hold a lot of size.
One fine day, must be at least ten, twelve years ago, I was enjoying a belter of a session, well I think it was until I did get really belted, and came up to find half a board attached to my leg, and no sign of the other half..
After recovering from the near drowning and making my way in (which is no picnic at this place) I searched high and low for the front half, but it was as if it had been absorbed by the sea, which, fortunately, I hadn't. I wasn't happy because it meant I couldn't get it stuck back together, and I had already begun to enjoy the thought of the repair, given I have this theory that boards for bigger waves go a bit better heavy.
Still I kept the half I had, maybe to salvage the fins, maybe because I simply hate throwing things away. Not long after, struck by a let's give the kids something to do.. or was it more, I've got a bright idea, I said to Joey.. draw me your best Batman!
Proudly presenting me with the drawing I proceeded to transpose it, with a bit of poetic license, onto the board.
It has decorated the house since and it is one of our precious things.
Here he is, in all his Batness, as painted by me, Joey and Tom, circa 1997.
One day the other half is going to turn up. I just know it.