Monday, February 27, 2006

Locals Only


It's always tough to paddle out at a new spot, even when the conditions are great, as they were when we four-wheeled it down an umarked trail north of PC. You don't know which way the rips are going to pull, if the boils in the water are going to turn into exposed rocks as the tide goes out, or exactly how far out the sneaker waves may break. But the worst thing about testing new waters is running into surly locals who think they own the place.

The waves were pretty amazing on Saturday when Nash and I parked his truck on the cobblestones above the waterline. Winds were offshore (yet again) and the shoulder-high peelers were actually hollow, breaking both right and left. We met up with Slim and Smithy, who had surfed this spot before, and followed them out to the peak. Just a mile down the beach we had witnessed a group of longboarders jockeying for mushburgers, yet we were all alone. It was Smith who picked off the first good wave, and he actually ripped it - I saw the nose of his new board flick above the back of the wave several times before he kicked out. Hm. We actually had a decent surfer in our ranks.

Inspired, I made a fair effort going right, staying in front of the fast-moving lip and doing a few little top turns of my own. Slim rode the Grease Slapper well in these conditions and Nash made some nice drops despite his bum eyes.

About halfway through the sesh, the locals showed up. I'm not sure how they snuck up on us, being as fat as they were, but no sooner had I finished a ride and paddled back outside when they made their presence known. They weren't happy. The first one paddled over agressively and jutted his nasty whisker-covered jaw at me exposing his bottom teeth. He barked like the animal he was. I was intimidated. Oregon locals have a bad rep and these, blimpish in their black slick skins, looked ready to throw down. The second one just glared with his beady black eyes. "Salty dogs!" I thought as they moved a little closer. They must've weighed about 1,000 pounds each, and they were backing me off the peak, inside where the set waves were breaking. I was about to threaten to "go Inuit on their blubbery asses" when they made themselves scarce, just as stealthily as they had arrived.



When sea lions get up in your grill, it can be a little scary. They love to face off and make a lot of noise, but usually they're all bark and no bite. Sometimes you can see their shadowy forms zipping underneath you under the water, which can add to the tension, but it's hard to imagine that an animal whose head looks like a wet daschund can do too much damage. Sometimes it can be more unsettling when the animals all dissappear at once, as they did on Sunday. Then you start wondering about the locals with the silver suits and the blacker eyes. The ones that don't say anyghing with their big mouths...

Robert Pollard "Gold"




P.S. This entry is meant to be read in your cheesiest Bruce Brown narration voice - I have been overdosing on vintage movies like Waterlogged that were part of a box set I was given for Christmas. (I'm also going to see Robert Pollard tonight).

11 comments:

Patch said...

As of late, I've been getting inspired by surf movie posters, check out the book "Surf Movie Tonight! Surf Movie Poster Art" by Matt Warshaw. It's just a total celebration.

The last few summers I was fortunate enough to surf along side Walt Philips (Sunset Surf Craze, Once Upon a Wave, Surf Mania and Dr. Strange Surf to name a few).

I love those old films.

Music — Field Music — You can decide

Slim said...

bra, it was SOUTH of PC, remember??

Chum said...

Dude, that's right... I always get my norths and souths mixed up, along with my lefts and rights.

Slim said...

I scored some bouldery rights and lefts today up in....

Chum said...

so you surfed today? jerk.

Diane said...

What can I say? I do love reading about your life. However, I am concerned about local trouble. Please take care.

foul pete said...

We weren't all longboarders jockeying for 'mushburgers' further north. Otherwise, nice post man. You write well.

Chum said...

No offense, Pete...

I was actually talking about the longboarders south of PC, not you guys, but Slim messed with my head and my sense of direction.

Thanks for reading my blog - I hear you're a scribe yourself...

Totor said...

Hi
Congratulations for your blog.
I'm a french surfer and your story shows me we all share the same concerns.
Locals are a real pain all over the world....
They're what Georges Brassens (very famous and talented french singer) describes as "imbéciles heureux qui sont nés quelque part" (happy idiots born somewhere).

Chum said...

Awsome. Merci, Totor.

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