Monday, August 17, 2009

A weekend of howling winds, banshee like at times, has led me into a dark space. Denied a mind cleansing surf, the black dog is on me a bit today, can't seem to break through a block on the script I'm attempting to write (delusion knows a million faces), the bank balance is in tatters so the blog is it.

What has been sitting at the back of my mind is the gap between perception and reality.

Over a Sunday coffee a mate of mine made a comment on an entry I made a month or two back drawing attention to a mind bending ride of Derek Hynd's at JBay. In it Derek really goes to town on the wave, but appears to burn a surfer inside.

Knowing Derek as I do I really didn't take much notice of that as it was well out of character in my experience.

Over the weekend I had reason to exchange a couple of emails with DH and used the opportunity to enquire about that wave. Turns out Derek was beside himself when he realised he'd dropped in on the guy, which had happened because of Derek's blind eye. On top of that, it also turns out the guy was an old acquaintance from years ago in Ireland/the Hebrides or some such, and that wave turned into a reunion of sorts. Good times revisited.

As for Good Times, it seems you can only have them a certain way. I notice in the blog PostSurf a pile of doodoos being heaped on the whole finless-alai thing as faddish and inefficient.

Of course it's inefficient. You fall off more often.

Just like when you learned to surf.

It's also fun (when you leave ego at the door) and, strangely, there is a cross benefit when you get on your normal board.

The other thing it does is break patterns that ingrain themselves over the years.

I've been surfing since late 1968, and my muscle memory is such that within the limits of the wave certain ways of doing things, good and bad, are there for the world to see.

I have a certain way of cutting back, my bottom turn, I'm told, is a mixture of BK and a Duck (thanks Joey). I tend to do my top turn a smidge too low. I'm aware of all this shit but I can show you a picture of a 1978 cutback and 2008 and apart from a thickening middle and a lot less hair it's the same turn.

So much for progress.

By taking on something completely different, while still allowing me the knowledge of wave selection and water that I've gained over the years, I am actually programing different parts of my brain and I see the wave differently.

This can only be a good thing and regardless of whether I'm good, bad or indifferent it has a benefit and if, God forbid, I leave the water with a smile on my face then all the better.

So to Mr Samuels and PostSurf, though I enjoy much of what you write, please allow us, gimps and experimenters alike, the opportunity to do our thing, to be cool or uncool or neither, and end our day with smiles imparted by any of the myriad things that ring our bells.

Pics for the day. Derek being neither cool or uncool, oblivious to cameras and just having a think two years ago. And a still from Jack McCoy's new film A Deeper Shade of Blue.
Just check the commitment, the hand, the Eye, wrap it up in a fifty two year old man and tell me its not a progression, or an inspiration. Jack takes the surfing we touched on in Musica Surfica, and with the help of Derek and others, plus his own ingenuity, takes perceptions to a whole new place.

I end actually with an email that just popped in from my brother, Pat.

Stationed in Kabul.

I'd asked him if he was far from the bomb yesterday.

"500m, shook the house so bad that we thought it was much closer. A lot of wounded whipped past our place as they fled the area. Debris took out one window and the blast another three. A lot of what ifs for our guys ... I routinely pass through that gate about 10 minutes earlier in the day. There but for the grace of God go I. But we're all OK and are lucky that that more weren't killed. They reckon a 600-800lb bomb; it left a crate about 3m x 1m. Exciting times."

And we worry about what board to ride.


Anonymous said...

How long is your brother in Kabul for?

ras said...

great post Mick and your brother's email really puts things in perspective.

I too enjoy Samuels' writing - especially because for the most part he's trying to get his American audience to realize that they take themselves and their surfing lives too seriously.

however, not unlike other "shock jock" types that have come before him (Howard Stern), Samuels feels the need to continually outdo himself and in the end will make himself a charlatan rather than the objective and critical social commentator that he so often is.

Anonymous said...

PostSurf? those guys are fags!

NiegĂ  said...

Re. Postsurf I think Mr. Samuels is very often right except in the points he makes... but he loses all his credibility with his need to continuosly insult and disrespect people, races and nations ...except for his own, of course.