Feat. Moby Dick
Recently, Chas confided his intention to attempt a midlength. The board in question arrives on today. Will Chas be ready? Can such a frail, willowy man actually push 6’10” x 21” x 2 3/4” of foam around the ocean?
The answer is, definitely not — not without a dedicated program of training. Honestly, it is probably already far, too late. It does strain the imagination to picture Chas training for anything, unless it involves vodka and drinking more of it.
We will, nonetheless, attempt to help this poor hapless man, before his giant new surfboard sends him flying into another galaxy or more likely, into a drowning Wavestormer trapped on the inside by the onslaught of massive, pounding set waves at summertime Swamis.
First off, Chas is going to have to carry this thing. A man could strain something vital trying to wrap an arm around a 21-inch wide monster. The gym is off limits during the quar times, and buying anything resembling weights requires black market contacts of the sort generally reserved for downloads of Sea of Darkness or buying cocaine, the good stuff, not that imported shit.
You know what’s easy to buy? Fucking books. Also, books are heavy, which makes them relevant to our current situation, which is, to repeat, the need for Chas to carry a very big surfboard to the beach, and then into the water.
You’re going to want a big book, with so many pages. Like, say, Moby Dick. Have you ever even read all of Moby Dick? I have not. It is a very big book with far too many pages — and far too much about the whale and all its various parts. The tail, the fin, like, hello, get on with it, some of us have lives over here.
Okay, back to work. Buy ten copies of Moby Dick. Now, don’t you start lifting all ten at once. That is the way to certain disaster. You have to build up to such feats of strength.
Start with one Moby Dick. Do some curls. Maybe lift a single Moby Dick above your head a few times. Then, add a second Moby Dick. Finally at last, after much determined effort, try lifting all ten Moby Dicks. This may take time, so do not be discouraged if it doesn’t happen by tomorrow morning.
Having arrived at the water’s edge with his giant new surfboard — I believe it is turquoise in color, which is a very good color for a giant new surfboard — Chas must now paddle his craft into the lineup.
This is a very delicate operation, which requires well-honed strength and perfectly tuned endurance. I feel like perfectly tuned endurance might be a bridge too far, but it’s good to have goals. We can not expect to turn Chas into Yuliya Efimova overnight.
How often have you seen people slumped on their giant surfboards like so many sacks of potatoes? Just like, lying there, feet splayed wide, dipping their fingertips in the water in a desultory way, never making much progress at all. This is everything that is wrong and bad about surfing on giant surfboards.
As surfers, we must take pride in our posture and our, well, something. I was going to write some kind of manifesto here, but really, everyone just needs to go home and do some planks and it’ll be fine. Chas, do some planks and don’t slump like a sack of potatoes on your giant, new surfboard, okay? Okay.
On to the still-bigger challenge of actually surfing the giant new surfboard, that might be turquoise, but might not be. It’s like the Schrödinger’s Cat of resin tints, not that I know what Schrödinger’s Cat actually is, but it looks good in a sentence.
Based on close observation, I have concluded that the main tenets of midlength surfboard riding include standing very still, looking very moody, and maintaining one arm high in the upright position. Bonus points, if you have the ability to grow a credible moustache.
The upright arm sticks straight up at the sky, and is typically, but not always, the arm at the rear of the surfboard. If you aren’t sure which arm is at the rear of your surfboard, you have far more problems than I can solve. Really, I can’t do everything over here.
To practice these skills, find a full length mirror. You do have a full-length mirror, right Chas? I mean, I can’t imagine those outfits happen entirely by accident, but we’ve already long ago established that my imagination does have some limits.
Stand in front of the mirror. Stand very still. Think of something sad, like how the whale dies at the end of Moby Dick. I mean, maybe it does? I don’t know, because I never made it to the end. Pretend the whale dies, and think serious, somber thoughts about the whale. Don’t forget to stand very still. Start with five minutes of still standing at a time. Then, increase until you reach 15 minutes or more.
Now the arm, you didn’t think I was going to forget the arm, did you? I don’t know how Moby Dick ends, but I am not completely incompetent over here.
After mastering standing very still, while thinking sad, somber thoughts, for five minutes at a time, lift your right arm straight up in the air. Do not point. This is very important! The hand must remained relaxed at all times, like it’s at some fabulous tropical hand resort and can’t be bothered to get off the lounge chair.
Practice standing very still, with a somber serious expression on your face, with your right arm in the air for, fuck I don’t know, as long as you can stand. You could also place one copy of Moby Dick in your upraised arm for additional strength and endurance, but I feel that this may be an overly advanced exercise.
What about turning, you’ll be saying, surely she is going to help Chas turn his giant, new surfboard. We’ve already established that the gym is off limits, which rules out squats, the only surefire way to ensure that Chas can push 100 liters of foam (or whatever it is) around the ocean.
But Chas does have a bicycle and Cardiff has hills.
Find the steepest hill in Cardiff, maybe the one that’s near the Patagonia store and the coffee shop, the one with the good espresso, except Chas drinks tea, which is a thing I still don’t understand.
Ride up the hill at least five times in succession. Sweat heavily. Curse and question all your life choices — this is how you will know you are doing it right.
Now, strap five copies of Moby Dick to the rack of the bicycle, the same rack that carried the box with the famous vanilla cake, which, why have I never received a cake? Really, it doesn’t seem like that much to ask.
With five copies of Moby Dick securely fastened to the rear of your bicycle, climb the steepest hill in Cardiff five more times, or until you fall over, which ever comes first. If you curse and question all your life choices, you have done it right.
It’s possible that this effort will make it possible to turn the giant, new surfboard, but there are no guarantees. I don’t make miracles over here. You have to train hard and be persistent to achieve big goals. That’s what they say, but it’s always possible that they’re lying.
Now you’re ready to terrorize the lineups from Cardiff to Rincon on your giant new surfboard that’s maybe turquoise or maybe not. If you run over anyone, just think sad thoughts about the whale and keep on standing still with your arm in the air.
Poise. That’s what you need. Poise and just a little practice will turn your mediocrity into greatness so fast, it’ll be like, the time I tried to read Moby Dick, made it to page ten and threw it across the room. That fast.