Closed eyes, pursed lips.
The sun popped out, after a touch of morning grey, a light wind carrying with it the scent of sea, of good times waiting. I tossed my board in the back of the truck, coasted down the hill, parked, crossed the train tracks, crossed the street and beheld smaller than expected surf but still fun.
Shoulder-ish high on the sets.
It wasn’t particularly crowded, a sort of easy-going vibe that complemented the lack of critical sections nicely.
A kid was trying a few airs on a new-ish Christenson. A goat boater, fully bearded, vested with a CamelBak and helmet floated next to him.
A wave came and I watched as a chubby 30-something riding a round-nosed mini-mal dropped in on a ginger pre-teen riding a Wavestorm who was then dropped in on by a nondescript 40-something riding a yellowing gun.
When they all came up the pre-teen Stormtrooper flipped his board over and paddled back out. The chubby 30-something floated next to his mini-mal and started jawing at the nondescript 40-something, who floated next to his yellowing gun.
Their faces two feet apart.
They jawed for a handful of moments and then it happened.
The chubby 30-something splashed the nondescript 40-something in the face. The nondescript 40-something returned fire and splashed the chubby 30-something in the face. The chubby 30-something went back for seconds. The nondescript 40-something, not willing to concede, went back for seconds too.
And then it went full on. Both splashing each other in the face, from two feet apart for a solid 30 to 40 seconds.
No punches, no pushes, just rage-filled splashing for a weirdly long time.
I had never seen anything so positively wonderful. Both had their eyes closed, lips pursed, in order to keep that saltwater out. Heads tilted up, slightly.
The splashing reached critical mass where the hands couldn’t quite move fast enough to inflict much water damage plus with the eyes closed, heads tilted up, it was difficult for each to regularly hit the target but I did see the chubby 30-something gasp for air at some point.
And like that it was over.
I applauded and noted to those around me that we had just witnessed the greatest lineup fight in surfing’s long and sordid history.
They all agreed.