The most over-hyped ritual in surfing…
I opted to sleep-in today instead of hunting waves at dawn. I feel it was justified… I was on airport duty this morning and even if the airport is right next to the beach, it was a good enough excuse. When I did get to the airport to pick-up my lady, it was knee-high and full of SUP-pilots.
My decision was based on yesterday. I was also on airport duty yesterday morning. I decided to pack my boards and go for a dawnie once I dropped my lady off for her six am flight. The surf was one-foot, onshore.
Pissed-off and sleep deprived, I woke-up my mate who lives above the bay. I got him to make me a cuppa and then got him excited about a surf with promises of an increase in swell. Checking the conditions again, it was still one foot. At that point I fucked off home, leaving him to try his luck and curse my name for waking him up.
After some coffee and WSL action, I went back in the arvo and got fun three-foot lefts with only five of us out. I was no longer tired and I felt pretty loose… I had a good surf.
The point is, dawnies suck.
You cut your sleep short to wake up to cold air temperatures. Your body is stiff, even after 15 minutes of stretching and a litre of black coffee. You paddle out in the dark and it’s already crowded. You instantly become more likely to be bitten by a curious great white. You get cold and surf shit because you’re tired and still stiff. You then come in angry and smelling of piss with strong overtones of coffee because of the 12 coffee and cold induced wetty-warmers you did…
Fuck the dawnie!
I’d much rather sleep a little longer, wake up and spend an hour reading BBC news while drinking a litre of black coffee. I’ll make a nice breakfast for the missus, enjoy the benefits of that act of attentiveness and then saunter down to the beach feeling awake and loose. Subsequently, I’ll have a much better surf.
It can be small, onshore and crowded. However, in the afternoon, I’ll still have a better surf than if I had got up at five am on the best day of the year and went straight to the beach.
If I’m loose and awake, I’ll get any wave I like. I’ll out paddle the crowd and use Machiavellian means to cause confusion among the mals and SUPs. When I’m awake, I can be cunt without looking like a cunt. In the mornings, I just look ham-fisted.
In the afternoons, I am able to feel my boards out better and generate more speed, which makes small onshore days much more fun. In the morning, I feel like an uncoordinated dead weight.
If I’m loose and awake, everything in my day is better.
Dawnies are sometimes a necessity, I admit that, and I’ll still occasionally go for one.
But for the most part it’s an over-hyped ritual which others can keep. Maybe, I’m becoming what I fear… a rarefied, middleclass urbanite.
But I’d forgo the early starts, active sharks and crowds for sex, sleep, coffee and a limber body any day.