"He got a wave at Malibu. Surfline Man is so good at surfing now."
Surfline Man is lying on his couch, which he’s pretty sure is his favorite place in the whole world. So relaxing, so comfortable.
And better yet, there’s no girlfriend to make him do some kind of dumb chore. Girlfriends, they always want him to do chores or work-out or something annoying.
Here he is, just chillin’ and enjoying life.
He’s thinking about everything and nothing and about the ocean which he loves almost as much as he loves his couch. A few days ago, it was World Oceans Day and it was just so inspiring to see all that sweet ocean love pop up on his Instagram feed. Surfline Man spent the whole day just scrolling along and feelin’ it.
Oceans, man, they’re so good.
Laptop open, he’s flipping through the swell forecasts in a desultory sort of way. It’s not like he hasn’t checked all the models for 10 days out like, 20 times already, but you never know when something might change. Like, an amazing swell could totally come straight out of nowhere. And the charts and graphs with all their colors are kinda soothing. He could just lie here all day and look at them, really.
Then Surfline Man’s phone buzzes. He figures he might as well see who it is. Setting aside his charts and graphs and important surf forecast stuff, Surfline Man picks up his phone.
— hey trent, it’s mike
the fish you ordered is almost ready
should be back from the glassers next week
will text you as soon as it gets here
Holy shit, his new surfboard, that’s going to be a fish that Mike the shaper is making for him! His new surfboard is going to be ready so soon! Surfline Man is so excited he almost drops his phone. Omg. New Surfboard!
— omg so stoked!
thanks so much dude!
— no probs see u soon
A new surfboard at last! That means Surfline Man is going to need some fins, and he’s going to need them super fast. Shit’s getting so real now. He should get keels, right? Everyone puts keels on fish, at least, Surfline Man thinks that’s how it works. But now he’s totally not sure.
— hey mike
what fins should i get
— keels will work good
— k thanks
Surfline Man feels so reassured now. He thought he should get keels for his new surfboard that’s going to be a fish, and he’s right! Mike told him to get keels, so that’s what he’s going to do. Mike would never lead him astray, he’s pretty certain of that, if nothing else. His new surfboard is going to be so sweet.
But Surfline Man is curious now, if he’s honest, which he always is. Or at least mostly, or well, maybe he’s not honest that often or whatever. The world can be so confusing and difficult sometimes.
But he is curious, Surfline Man is sure of that part, because he’s just realized that despite being an accomplished surfer — like, he totally got a wave at Malibu! Not just anyone can do that! — he really doesn’t know much at all about fins. Like, he just puts them on and forgets about them, mostly.
Now he has to know.
What if Mike asks him a question?
All his cred will be totally lost, like in an instant.
Reopening his laptop, Surfline Man pulls up Google: How do keel fins work? He thought about asking if keel fins were good, but he figured he’d get a bunch of yahoos on a forum somewhere with useless opinions. He needs facts right now, not just some bro’s dumbass opinion.
He hits the first likely link he finds, only to discover that it’s all about boats. Right, he forgot that boats have keels, not just surfboards. Man, things are getting so technical in such a hurry. Scrolling further down, he finally finds a link that’s about surfboards. Apparently, the boat people own Google or something.
Surfline Man starts to read. Keel fins… fish shapes… Yes, yes, he knows this part. He is getting a fish and he is putting keels on it. These internet people are like, totally way behind him. Okay, now it’s getting good. Down the line speed and stability. Control. Okay, those all sound like good things to him.
Surfline Man carefully repeats the words back to himself just to make sure he’s has it all down. He wants to be totally ready to impress Mike when he picks up his new fish. Next week! He is getting a new surfboard next week! Also, it’s super important to explain how his new surfboard and fins work to all his friends in the lineup. They are counting on his expert knowledge!
After all that reading about surfboards, Surfline Man really, really wants to go surfing.
Like, right now.
With a surge of energy, Surfline Man bounces off his couch and heads to the kitchen. He mixes up a pre-surf shake with some protein powder, banana, kale, frozen blueberries, and almond milk.
Then he bops out to the garage and straps his beautiful turquoise midlength to his ebike. Surfline Man just got a new surfboard rack for his bike and it’s so awesome. He zips over to Swamis, because he figures there’s probably something to ride. He forgot to check the tide before he left, and it’s already pretty high. Whatevs, he’s here to surf, and he’s not about to let a little extra tide stop him.
He wiggles into his Patagonia wetsuit jacket. Turquoise midlength under his arm, jacket unzipped a few inches, he feels so stylish now. Like, straight out of Instagram. He expects a photographer to jump out of the bushes any second to record his perfect surf vibes. He is very disappointed when this doesn’t happen, but shoulders back, head high, he strolls down the Swamis steps. He’s pretty sure cool doesn’t even begin to describe it.
He got a wave at Malibu. Surfline Man is so good at surfing now. There he is, just sitting in the lineup, feeling so stoked. A nice wave comes his way and it’s meant to be. He paddles into it so easy. His bottom turn feels so smooth, so perfect. Then he’s off, skimming along on the high line. Time for that perfect cutback, he can feel it coming. Why not now?
Surfline Man swings his board around, water droplets shining in the sun, the turquoise deck gleaming. It’s all going according to plan. Turn back to the foam and then back around — he’s so got this. But suddenly, before he can do anything at all, it all goes wrong. Surfline Man has no idea what he did or how, but he does know that he’s no longer standing on his surfboard.
Surfline Man can only watch as his precious midlength tumbles through the white water toward the shore. He remembers now, at the worst possible moment, that he’s never been all that great at swimming. Long before he can make much progress at all, his board reaches the shore.
Head down, Surfline Man swims for all he’s worth, which isn’t that much really at all. Surfacing, the water clears from his eyes just in time to see his precious midlength swept up and smashed into the rocks that line the base of the bluff. His board bounces off the rocks, only to be slammed right back again. As if once were not enough. Surfline Man can only watch, helpless to save his board from certain destruction.
At last, he reaches the shallows and sets off at an awkward run. His board is heading toward the staircase now, and he’s pretty sure he’ll never reach it in time. He wonders what he ever did to deserve this total humiliation. He’s pretty sure the ding repair guy is going to laugh so hard at him.
Completely winded, Surfline Man finally catches up his board. He looks around casually hoping that no one is watching him. This is all so embarrassing. He carefully inspects his precious turquoise midlength that he surfed for a whole wave at Malibu. There’s a solid gash in the nose and well, his board definitely looks like it hit the rocks. Picking up his board, Surfline Man begins the long slog up the stairs.
When he reaches the top, he avoids making eye contact with the crew hanging out along the bluffs. Surely they witnessed his ignominious defeat, and he really doesn’t want to talk about it. He quickly straps his board to his bike and hits the throttle. He’s so out of here.
At home, Surfline Man searches his phone for the sketchy ding repair guy, who saved him last time. If he’s lucky, no one will ever be able to tell that Surfline Man lost his board and it totally hit the rocks. Hopefully, the ding repair guy won’t take forever. Surfline Man needs to surf! It’s like, so important to him.
Suddenly, he remembers that he’s getting a new surfboard next week. The timing is so perfect! He’s going to buy some keel fins like, tomorrow. And then next week, he’s going to pick up his new fish from Mike the shaper.
Everything is going to work out so good now!