So there I was, minding my own business, thinking about surf champion Joel Parkinson and his interaction with TikTokers when I stumbled upon yet another story of an elderly writer deciding to take up surfing for the first time and meticulously detailing the journey.
These tales have become ubiquitous in these, the Covid days of our lives, but I am a surf journalist, dedicated to my craft so read each and every for you.
This one, titled ‘Never, ever look down’: a middle-aged guide to catching waves began thusly:
A group of surfers riding the break is a quintessential image of Australian summer. I have wished I could be out there on a board with them for as long as I can remember.
As a youngster I learned to ride skateboards, boogie boards and to ski. But learning to surf – especially now, on the wrong side of 50 – seemed out of reach. Still, on a four-week break in a seaside town, I decided to try anyway.
The man at the Golden Breed store in Noosa Heads suggested a board that was long, wide and light enough to carry. I told myself that the shop was some sort of sign, as my first skateboard, circa 1979, had also been from Golden Breed.
A month’s rental cost about $350, but buying a board was about $400. So I left the store with a new, 8ft 4in “foamie” named Darkhorse, and a pamphlet on surf etiquette.
A quick internet search after my purchase told me Darkhorse featured reinforced polyethylene to give “stiffness and durability”, and was “designed to withstand heavy Hawaiian conditions”. None of which I really needed. Or so I thought.
A pamphlet on surf etiquette?
The piece meandered on, I assume, but this business about handing out surf etiquette pamphlets derailed my reading.
What, do you think, was included?
And might we worm our way in and help provide better information a la Tyler Durden?
Something to also think about during the momentary break in Joel Parkinson vs. mini-adult news.