Queensland has recently come out of a lockdown and finally, after easing of restrictions, surfers can finally head into the water. I do my usual Sunday morning routine, 5 am wake up, coffee, procrastinate, check the surf cam, and finally muster the energy to leave. How I had missed the scenic drive. Usually, I arrive at the Sunshine Coast at around 8 am and the crowds are little to none, usually.
Today was different.
As I peeked over the top of the hill, driving my car down towards the velvet beach, there are bodies everywhere. 8 am and already it’s a cluster fuck of people, all trying to eradicate their frustration of 3 weeks without being allowed to surf, compacted into a few short hours.
Tensions are high.
Ever paddle out and sense a bad atmosphere? A sense of all eyes staring, hungry, dead-eyed and ready to fuck/kill anything that steps out of line. There was tension in the air. To make matters worse, the surf was a mere 1 – 2 ft at a push with sets closing out before they even started. On days like these, one must accept that your score of the waves is far and few in-between. Well, fuck you, I’m hungry and I’m gunning for a wave.
I was feeling generous today. If I saw someone going for a wave, I'm pulling back. Sharing is caring and all that jazz. I always have a double look left and right before I go for a wave. Always double checking just to ensure I am not dropping in on anyone. Towards the end of the session, I had a look left and right, all clear. Fucking go for it! I catch a wave and towards the end, I notice someone out of the corner of my eye, I’ve accidentally snaked someone.
I jump off, grab my board, and wait till I get within eye contact to apologise. I’m trying to be nice today. An older gentleman, say mid to late 50s, greying and sun-damaged in island printed board shorts from Jay Jays wearing a Quiksilver rash vest locks eyes with me.
I put my hand up and instantly apologise “Sorry about that mate, I didn’t see you!”
His face fills with rage as he shakes his head “And yet you still went.”
Usually, I just apologise again and call it quits but I've been nothing but nice today and this guys being a prick “Yeah, because I didn’t see you!” I snapped back.
The look of shock on his face was a picture, deep red now turning purple, he’s hulking “Well you should look before you go!”
He's not wrong but in this situation, I had looked and not noticed him. Fed up I snap back, “It's just a wave, fuck, it was an accident!”
I feel my dad's rage coming over me so I paddle outback hearing the faint stuttering as he tried with a comeback. I can’t be bothered.
To finish the surf session, I purposely sat with a shit-eating grin on my face, knowing every 30 seconds or so he kept looking in my direction. Was he trying to intimidate me? Was he going to fight me? For what? Accidentally taking a wave. A man at the age of near 60 should know fucking better and drop the childlike bullshit. Granted, I am not one to talk giving my passive-aggressive reactions, but it should have been settled once I said sorry.
The moral of the story is this, sometimes, people accidentally snake you. Sure, bring it up with them and let it be known that their actions were selfish and not needed. But maybe, just maybe, if they apologise and say they didn’t see you, they might be telling the truth. If you’re feeling territorial over waves once you’ve aged past 30, then grow up you arrogant prick.