Fulfil the criteria of just three and, yes, you are, officially, a filthy kook!
I’ve been a kook for so long I can’t imagine being anything else. There have been a few moments when I thought I’d finally shucked kookdom, when I was teased with the prospect of delirious and unlimited delights.
The three straight airs landed. A couple of odd-looking, out-on-the-face, ass-in-the-air reverses. A lucky tube.
They were illusions, of course.
I started too late. Didn’t obsess enough about it to permanently burn the movements into my muscles, the processes into my brain.
I got thinking about it yesterday when I flew to the mountains for a one-day hit of snow. Epic season. Don’t wanna miss it. Took my kid. He’s ten. I’ve ridden fifty-ish days over twenty years, he’s had a week over three. He flies down the blacks hitting everything and spinning. I’m kicking the tail out, panicking at speed, catching edges and groping the piste on toeside turns.
Kook forever. But I accept it. It’s my state.
Are you a lifelong kook? Do you recognise yourself in the behaviours below? Three or more and, it’s official, you’re a kook!
- You believe surfing is a democracy: As vibrant as our game is, it ain’t a tableau of fairness. Never was. It’s a meritocracy. The best surfers get the best waves, get any wave they want and if they want to drop in on your disorganised jabbing of the lip, if they want to paddle around you to takeoff on a wave from its most critical juncture, it’s their prerogative. If you sit out the back hissing at the unfairness of it all, then you are a kook.
- It’s your surfboard, not you: The kook is what keeps the surfboard industry alive. Your failures can’t be attributed to the misplacement of limbs, the panic as you hover in the lip, the razor-blade paddle technique. Gotta be the board. And so you buy and accumulate surfboards like a vain woman does shoes. Every night when surf shop employees go home they laugh at you and your stories of boards“not working” and your earnest selection of $200 carbon fins.
- You are a princess with a pea: You know the old fairy tale? About the gal so regal she could feel a pea in her bed even when it was buried under twenty mattresses? You actually believe you can feel that subtle concave washing between the fins.
- You think literage is everything: Once you get that magic number you’re obsessed by it. But what’s the literage? How many litres? Can you build it in a 27.5?
- You don’t get localism: The universal rights of man and so forth. You’re the guy who calls a Hawaiian off a wave at Rocky Point or an Indonesian at his home in Bali. You believe that whomever is on the inside, wherever it is, has the absolute right to that wave. It doesn’t if they’ve they’ve just arrived from Italy and piloting a Wavestorm or it’s a pro-level surfer who’s ridden the same hometown ledge, expertly, for the last ten years.
- You own at least one shark repellant: Leash, shield, band.
- You write screeds on Kelly Slater’s Instagram criticising his surfboards.
- You talk surf whenever you meet someone. Did I tell you about my last trip to Costa Rica? Nicaragua?
- Vacations are sought at surf camps: Games of pool, surf movies, other like-minded boys? It’s a YMCA with tan!
- You use a change poncho: What do you hide, little man?