Am I too old to ride a shortboard…?

silver surfer

I bought a shortboard about three years ago – at the time I was surfing most weeks – I was in good shape and the purchase seemed to make sense. I used it a few times that summer – on bigger, hollower days. But on the whole it’s just been gathering dust in my bedroom as I’m sure many small pointy boards do…

I loved my shortboard. Apart from being red (and quite shiny) it reminded me that I had the capability to get into critical waves even if that skill is now slightly buried under some aquatic inactivity and a miniscule smattering of subcutaneous polyunsaturates. It’s like hanging onto a pair of old jeans that used to fit or never letting your gym membership expire even if the most exercise you get is lifting a gin and tonic to your mouth.

I caught a wave on Monday that shattered all expectations of a mediocre session – an overcrowded corner of Baleal concentrated by unfriendly winds on all other breaks. But as the sets drove through at high tide the inexperienced crowd was naturally culled by the incoming lines of swell – leaving a few of us to take the pick of the waves. After a couple of suicide drops into close outs I got lucky and scored a classic Cantinho left – a peeling wall that lifted to meet my board at the perfect speed to gouge bottom turns and hit the lip. A foot higher and I would have needed that small pointy thing that stands between my shirts…

So I shall be keeping my shortboard even if it just stands in my wardrobe for most of the year with my metaphorically tight jeans (my mythical gym membership card in the pocket) hanging over it…

I didn’t surf today.

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