When we were in Nicaragua, we made friends with a guy from SF named Walker who we surfed with daily for a week. He must've felt sorry for me because after two of my boards were knocked out of commission, he gave me his 6'6 and said that I could either keep it (and give it back to him next time I was in the Bay Area) or give it away, if I found somebody who might need it.
The last couple days of our trip we surfed with a local kid who charged every wave, no matter how unmakable, and seemed to be having much more fun than anybody else. He wore tattered boardshorts and a saggy rashguard, with curly black hair and a bright smile that seemed to pop from his dark complexion after every wave.
On our last day, after watching him get a nice little cover-up, I asked him in broken Spanish how long he'd been surfing. "Seis meses," he said, six months. The kid was already much better than me and I could tell that he was on his way to becoming a local hero, like the other older guys who shared the barreling beachbreak with me for the previous three weeks.
His board was an absolute disaster. It was old and yellow, with open dings and big delams. It had tiny sparkly star stickers that he'd applied to the deck, probably to emulate the pros that rolled through town. I knew that he was the right person for the stick that I'd just inherited, so I told him to stay there and that I'd be right back. I paddled in, ran back to the condo, grabbed the board and a couple bars of wax and headed back to the break. When I got back, the kid was standing on the shore with his old board laying it the sand. It was broken in half.
"What happened?" I asked. He gestured by arcing his arm over his head, smiling, "Grande!" At that, I handed him the new board and he looked it over proudly, running hands over the white deck.
As we paddled back out to the lineup together, I wondered how this coincidence could have occured . Had he been nursing his old board through waves, knowing that it was at the end of its life? Did he finally just put it in a more critical spot when he knew something better was on the way?
It didn't matter really. It took him two rides and he was back up to speed again, slotting himself under lips and doing celebratory flyaway kickouts after good waves. The boy was lucky, but maybe the board was luckier--having been given a chance at a second life where it could be ridden all the way into the ground.
The Sea and Cake - Crossing Line
Walker, if you're still reading this blog, this is where your board ended up. Sorry it took so long to give you the story.