"He was so happy looking!"
Yesterday, BeachGrit reader Jeremy Sterling sent an urgent note to the editors concerning prominent quit-litter Matt Warshaw, the surf historian who folded up his surf career when he moved to Seattle eight years ago.
“I’m happier than I’ve ever been,” said Matt in an interview two months ago. “The target, or sweet spot, or pleasure zone, got smaller and smaller, and I got tired of firing and missing. It dipped way below that 9-to-1 ratio, and I buckled… I was good at surfing for a long time, and was still good now and then when I stopped, but the trend was obvious, and getting out was the right thing to do. I should have stopped two or three years earlier.”
Jeremy’s note reads.
Matt came out of retirement today and you should chat with him.
Here are a few details.
He surfed pumping Westport Washington— 1.3 feet @ 13 seconds SW swell, NE winds 10 knots. Perfect little waves bouncing off the Jetty making knee to waist high peelers. Matt ripped it on a 7’0’ Rawson with too much rocker and three glassed on fins all of which had been broken and fixed.
The board sings to you as you ride. He caught five legit 1.3 foot waves, found the pocket, had a few half cocked off the tops, and smiles all around.Sun setting at end of a beautiful fall day in the PacNW with his wife and son beaching it and making Halloween art with my wife and son. A perfect reintroduction to surfing on a rare small day this time of year in WA.
He was so happy looking, drawing a perfect line or the only line you can draw on a 1.3 foot wave, that I wanted to high-five him while standing in three feet of water — just like Kelly did to Machado at Pipe. But it was not Pipe and well under 1.3 foot Hawaiian and he was going right, not left, and my high-five would have been with my right hand not left, and a world title wasn’t on the line, but instead a fragile reintroduction surf session that could go sideways with one bogged rail turn due to an attempted high-five.
So I didn’t high-five him and instead continued having a blast surfing small waves with a great friend I hadn’t surfed with in a long time. Yes, one of those only a surfer knows the feeling moments. Post-surf bourbon and Modelo and a halibut, salmon, squash, and salad dinner followed with wine and conversation. Good times all around!
Some notable moments. He was frothing enough to skip the towel around the waist and show off the sausage and meatballs mid-conversation. I had no time to adjust or avert my eyes.
So, yeah, I saw Matt Warshaw’s dick.
He was a “rebel” drinking his modelo while I drove home… looking out for cops.
I contacted Warshaw who says he “stood and trimmed on tiny beautiful waves using ill-fitting borrowed wetsuit and triple step-up board and felt like Mikey Feb. My pop-up is tree-time slow. My slouching down-the-line angling is sublime.”
Of course, the obvious question is, how did it feel?
“Nothing like it used to feel but still great. Jodi and Teddy were on the jetty and they waved wildly at me after I kicked out. I couldn’t stop smiling paddling back out. Yeah it was nice.”