Thursday, 24 June 2010
We'd been spoiled yet again. On our last trip to Devon in October we found long period overhead swell with sunny weather and light winds, and this June was no different. After several days with over six hours in the water I was beginning to feel the strain.
Our last evening saw the swell fading fast, with occasional chest high sets coming through. We'd met a friendly group of local surfers and I'd lent an old 7'9 Bic to one of them, Nick, so he could compete with the longboarders and enjoy some fun little waves. Bics have been the platform for many a beginner, including myself, and although they're not exactly high performance boards their durability and ease of wave catching make them popular for learners and for everyone when the surf's small.
I'd taken out my fish, and was sat inside the break with some of the younger lads from the village on their shortboards, trying to pick off the more shapely waves that came through. It was frustrating having to pick off scraps after the feast we'd enjoyed for the previous two days.
The guy on the Bic started chatting to one of the youngsters, who was struggling to get any good rides on a small shortboard. Nick had been catching some waves and messing around, enjoying the old plastic board. The youngster asked him what he was riding, Nick said it was an old Bic to which he received the reply "I'd rather suck off my dad than ride one of those!". Charming.
I smiled to myself as the youngster finally gave up on the evening and cast a petulant look at the longboarders before paddling back to the beach.
I'm always impressed by people who can surf shortboards well in weak, small surf. It's no mean feat. But your average surfer is going to have way more fun messing around on a bigger board, plastic or not. And what's the point of surfing if it's not fun?