FLAT SUMMER

the-nonconformist-3 Notice how flat the waves were in the cover of my new novel? Well that’s pretty much how they’ve looked most of this summer and for the most part most of this past spring and winter.

Flat spells such as these can really eat at the psyche of surfers. Not only do we not get to ply our trade in the way we like but it also affects our social connections.

With no surf comes no stories. While normally our phones are filled with texts or calls (yes that still happens) from our surfing buddies, during flat spells those drop to trickle. We might go for weeks without seeing them as no one is out at our favorite break. We are a tribal lot after all and we like to share in the camaraderie that develops during a big swell (heck even a moderate one after such a lull).

We also suffer physically from the effects of not surfing. Our muscle tone diminishes and as there is no surf we tend to eat and drink more and lay around watching TV or playing video games and gain weight.

We also become depressed and out of sorts. As such, our home and business lives suffer.

We also start to doubt our abilities. We wonder if we will perform well when a good swell finally hits. We also dream incessantly about surfing (I know I do) and many of those dreams are frustrating ones where the waves are great until we hit the water then it goes flat or we get to the beach and we realize we’ve forgotten our board.

We also don’t buy surfboards or equipment which hurts the surf shops and shapers and the economy and it might even affect jobs.

In the old days, when the waves went flat for a long period, we sacrificed an old board to appease the surf gods. These days however we are reluctant to do so because it might be detrimental to the environment.

So I guess no one wins during a flat spell, except maybe for the families of surfers who are normally out every day and who are now around more. The only problem with that is that although they are around they are not much fun to be with as they are all bummed out over not being able to surf.

This week I paddled out twice already in what could only be described as ankle to calf size waves just because I was that desperate to surf. it was so small in fact that once, when I was able to actually go down the line, when I crouched down to try to tuck into the mini-mini-barrel I couldn’t because I was still looking down at it. Now that’s JUST NOT RIGHT.

At this point all we can do is try to hold ourselves together and pray to the surf gods on a regular basis to bring waves our way. For me I’d simply be happy with a modest waist high swell but I certainly wouldn’t complain if a good tropical swell found it’s way off our coast.

So keep praying and keep the faith that things will change. In the interim take care and see you next week.

Aloha, Paul

About authorpaulhayden

Author, artist, screenwriter, environmentalist. husband, father, surfer, surfing instructor, volunteer.
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