Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
I am beat. Sun scorched where my World Surf League New York Longboard Classic singlet* doesn’t cover. Wave stuffed, surf stuffed, mojito’d, local farm raised steak’d, Toña’d, jungle hike’d, monkey spotting’d, 18-year-old Flora de Caña’d, tennis’d, swimming pool’d, fresh parrot fish ceviche’d, butterflies floating on warm offshore breeze’d beat.
Beat into full enlightenment. I have achieved it for you, for us, but mostly for your happy family or future happy family and your snappy little barrel count.
For there need be no separation between the happy family and the snappy little barrel count. Nor the happy family and the almost well-timed top turn, nor the happy family and the aching neck, sore shoulders, feeling of bizarre satisfaction that only too many waves bring.
That only bubbles to the surface through a complete erasing of FOMO.
In Nicaragua, at Rancho Santana, family and surf are one and I see your smirk, your doubt, your thinking somehow I’ve become a corporate shill, three steps removed from erecting my own Wall of Positive Noise.
Well, didn’t unbelievers throw rocks at the Buddha once he reached the truth? Didn’t they try to snuff out his message?
They certainly did and the comment rocks, heavy and painful, only prove my message. Believe if you want. Disregard at your own expense.
Four days ago I too doubted. Three days ago I added my best friend and his family because I still doubted, two days ago I conjured Todd Kline plus his family, doubt receding but still there, and yesterday I pressed to the very limit by inviting a high-society pre-VAL who wanted to learn to surf very much but also wanted to ride horses.
She arrived and promptly booked surf lessons for herself, Josh’s Ndijilian/Parisian/Helsinkian fashion designer surf agnostic wife and our children.
“Surf lessons…” I scoffed even though I tried not to scoff. “This will be the end of glory.”
But pushing the idea to its very limit was the entire goal so we all rolled up in an epic, Africa spec Landcruiser troop transport to the Ranch’s Surf Club just off Panga Drops and Colorados mid-morning.
It was dumping out the front, head high-plus runners at Panga Drops and Colorados. My wife and I waved goodbye, leaving the rest in the hands of a Spanish instructor and charged around the corner, paddling furiously to the lightly peopled lineup.
We surfed until we could not surf anymore. Thick rights that my Album twin painted with swooping roundhouse cutbacks and loose, dreamy drive. Thick lefts that were designed for my wife’s goofy asym quad. Matt Parker, who has surfed in Nicaragua many times, insisted we take a bit more foam in order to scratch through the sometimes howling offshores. He was exactly right and I have rarely had more pure fun surfing.
More straight, simple joy.
And when we could not surf another wave, rolled onto the beach and stumbled back to where a high-society, New York, heiress VAL was somehow drop-knee bottom turning, a fashion designer surf agnostic was smiling ear to ear and my daughter was catching over her head bombs on the outside, gliding down the face all the way to the sand in a pose that would make Kelly Slater’s Cocoa Beach statue very jealous.
Except goofy exactly like her mother.
She has been surfing with me since the age of three, perched on the nose of a pink 8 foot foamie in Cardiff, California then later a few dumpy waves until she got cold but here, alone, warm, Kelly Slater statue-esque, she had made surfing hers.
I dropped my board and laughed.
And laughed until tears flooded my eyes.
And then went and ate homemade tacos from the Surf Club while drinking passion fruit, hibiscus, rum cocktails while plotting a way to get you here so we can all believe together.
Especially Wiggolly’s Paddling Style.
More as the story develops.
*Devon Howard, WSL longboard commissioner sent me the singlet a few months ago after I remarked how much better that tour’s baggy tank top version was than real surfing’s skin tight t-shirt. I wore it ironically at first, not in the water obviously, but then started accidentally liking it and brought it here to surf and also had the revelation that WSL tank-top singlets absolutely rule to surf in. No wonder the pros are better than us. Buy here, I guess.