For a fucked-up teen, surf was my escape. Free from self-doubt and self-hatred…
I’ve been sitting in front of the computer all damn morning. Bashing my head against the keys, trying to shake loose something. Anything.
I’m just over writing about surfing at the moment. It’s so lame. I’m so jaded.
Wasn’t always this way. Until I hit 30 I was more or less gay for surf.
If the sport had a dick it would’ve been balls deep inside me. Maybe I’m just a little sore these days. Maybe I can channel a little of that old stoke. Steal some inspirado from the days I’d devour every surf mag cover to cover, instead of half heartedly flipping through an issue while I take a shit.
The year was 1994. Shane Beschen was my favorite surfer in the world. His wide leg stance, buried rail gouges, a fins free game years ahead of its time. What wasn’t to love?
I was riding terrible boards. The super narrow, ridiculously thin, rockered out elf shoe garbage all the cool kids had. Pretty much Slater’s fault. Agonizing over sticker placement, spending hours getting the perfect wax bump going. Normal idiot teenage boy, didn’t have an original thought in my head. Boners 24/7, too awkward to convince a girl to touch it.
For a fucked-up teenager in the midst of terrible hormonal swings, life turned upside down, new school, no friends, surf was my escape. Total cliché, I know. But true. A few hours a day in the moment. Free from self-doubt and self-hatred and whatever behavorial problems I’d have been diagnosed with if it were ten years later.
I’d been kicked out of school a few months before. Kinda. More like got in trouble, mom was sick of her three sons. Dropped us off with dad. Didn’t see her much after that. What little I did was too much.
If I’m being honest, I never really got over it. Stopped speaking to the woman years ago. No great loss. Probably worked out for the best. Dad’s a better person, got an awesome stepmom. Molokai channel paddling waterwoman. Puts the men in our family to shame.
For a fucked up teenager in the midst of terrible hormonal swings, life turned upside down, new school, no friends, surf was my escape. Total cliché, I know. But true. A few hours a day in the moment. Free from self-doubt and self-hatred and whatever behavorial problems I’d have been diagnosed with if it were ten years later.
Pre-internet surf content was few and far between. Er and Ing every month, most of the info months old. A VHS copy of The Green Iguana I’d rewatched until the tape was tattered. And the occassional contest broadcast. I don’t remember what channel it was on, or if it was ever anything more than Cali beach break slop comps. But it didn’t matter. It was surfing, that was enough.
I’ll never forget the ’94 Beschen/Slater final. So stoked they played it on TV. Probably a few weeks after the event, but it didn’t matter. I had no idea who won. Didn’t read the paper, still came before the mags dropped.
Back and forth battle, Slater needed a 9.8-something in the dying moments. Snagged a quicky cover-up off the pier, punted an air on the end section. Ten! Had to be.
Wasn’t. Slater lost. Beschen hammered the final nail home by drawing an interference.
Pretty cool Warshaw saw fit to save the heat, posted it so I can relive the moment.