Hang 10... or as they now say...hit the lip!

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Topic Title: Here's a story.
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Created On: 11/16/2020 06:06 PM
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 Here's a story.   - SlimyBritches - 11/16/2020 06:06 PM  
 Here's a story.   - Cole - 11/16/2020 06:38 PM  
 Here's a story.   - Central Floridave - 11/17/2020 05:38 AM  
 Here's a story.   - SlimyBritches - 11/17/2020 06:07 AM  
 Here's a story.   - Cole - 11/18/2020 06:00 AM  
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 11/16/2020 06:06 PM
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Joined Forum: 01/08/2016

Fall 1976.

It was the end of a long, hot, flat summer and, it seemed, the beginning of a long, flat fall. Not a wisp of a breeze, much less anything tropical. It appeared that the great wave drought would never end.

Back then, there was only two ways to check if there was surf.

The surest way to find out if there were waves was to go to the ocean and see for yourself. Lately the ocean was called Lake Atlantic . The second way was to call the local surf shop. Schmitt and Schnook didn't have a phone, so it would cost a quarter to be disappointed. If it said there were waves, you would have to hope the report was updated and truthful. More times than not, they would lie, say it was flat to get the waves to themselves, or say it was great to get you down there to buy their swag.

Schmitt walked to the corner pay phone, called the surf report. It was cheaper and less depressing than driving a hour to view our disappointments. On this morning, the report was just a guy screaming "It's way over head and out of control!". Schmitt ran back up to the apartment to alert Schnook, but Schnook must have heard him howl because he was coming out with the boards. They packed up the boards in the back of Schnooks pick up truck and headed for the beach.

The truck was a '54 Ford pickup, with a suped up motor that could get them to the beach a lot faster than Schmitt's '72 VW van. The pickups speedometer only went up to 70 miles per hour but the needle was usually pegged before getting to third gear. Schmitt's van's speedometer went up to 110 but couldn't go above 55 unless it was downhill.

All of their gear had been sitting next to the door for months. The boards were in the truck bed and they were on the road five minutes after hearing the report. There was no food in the apartment, they were starving and had to eat. They stopped at the first fast food joint on their way. McDumpsters was the joint of choice because they had a fist full of two for one coupons, and it was the only place on their way to the waves. They were starving and bought what they thought was enough to fill them up. They burned out of the parking lot, stuffing "Big Dumps" and Quarter Pounders in their faces on their way to get their fix.

They went straight to the pier. They were thinking it would be the only place to get out if the waves were as big as the report said. They saw that the report was pretty close to being right on, but underestimated the size. It was " Way, WAY overhead" but not as out of control to keep them from going out. The waves were breaking out past the end of the pier. The wind was howling on shore, but the outside waves were clean and very ridable. From what they could see, the waves appeared to be a little over head, easy to catch. The area between the beach and the end of the pier, however, was a white roiling caldron of fury.

Theoretically, in order to get out on a day like this, one only had to get as close to the pier as possible and as soon as you hit the water, paddle parallel to the beach, towards the pier, and let the rip suck you out. What actually was happening was nothing like the theory. Surfer after surfer got their ass' handed to them the moment their feet hit the water. The white water knocked their feet out from under them, pulled them underwater and swept them south, never to be seen again.

After seeing that, the boys started to rethink their route. The pier was closed for the season, and the gate was locked. There were chain link fences, five feet wide and eight feet tall, extending out on the north and south sides of the ramp where it attaches to the pier. Schmitt and Schnook were unsuccessful trying to check with authorities for permission use an alternate entrance, so they initiated plan B.

They ran up the ramp and tried to slide the boards under the gate. The boards would only get half way under before the fins dug in to the wooden floor. They were looking for an alternate route when a young kid walked up and asked if he could come with then. He was about 15ish and not a bit afraid. He suggested that Schnook should get on the pier side, while he hangs off the edge of the protruding fence. Schmitt would hand him the boards, and he would pass them to Schnook.

"Hell yeah you can come!", was their answer.

They chose the south side of the entrance so the wind would be blocked by the office building. Schnook climbed around the extension with ease. The Kid climbed out to the edge of the protruding fence, and interlaced his toes in the links. He let go with his hands and, somehow, stretched his body straight out, parallel to the water. One at a time, The Kid grabbed the boards with both hands, pivoted at the waist, and handed them to Schnook. After he handed off the last board, he grabbed the fence pole with his hand and swing his body over the water to the other side. Making a perfect landing. It took a lot longer for Schmitt to get across, then they ran to the sheltered area.

They took their gear next to the office, to get out of view, calm down and attach the boards to their legs. Schmitt's board was new, to him, and he hadn't had a chance to ride it yet. That's when he noticed that the leash was a rotting piece of crap. The rubber tether had some nicks and slices, and most of the fuzzy part of the velcro on the strap was matted and not adhering to the other end. Schmitt picked up a big splinter of wood off the floor and used it to rough up the fuzzy enough to make it stick. He strapped it around his ankle, gave it a couple of hard yanks and was thought it was strong enough.

When Schmitt walked out on the pier he saw that the splinter he used was from the missing section of the pier. The only thing that was connecting the first section of the pier and third section were the hand railing and the floor plank to which the railing was attached. Everything else was gone. The white water from the breaking waves had pushed them up and off the pier.

Not to be detoured, they grabbed the rail on the north side of the pier, and walked the plank across the chasm. They had their boards in their right hands and grabbed the rail with their left. The wind was howling, pushing their boards straight out at arms length, helping them balance as they hopped across on the plank.

As they ran towards the end of the pier, Schmitt noticed that the last section was pointing more south than the rest of the pier, and found out why when a wave hit the end of the pier. It was as tall as the floor of the pier, and, as it headed towards them. The white water squirting up through the floor boards, was high as their knees, and going on to the boardwalk. They turned to see white water come up a foot higher than the pier at the gap they just crossed.

They got to the end of the pier and waited for the next set. The plan was to jump on top of it so the fall wouldn't be too far. They climbed over the south rail, hung on and waited for another wave. They didn't have to wait long. The set could be seen coming in from the horizon. It looked like it was as big as the last one which was good, not fall at all. They could just step off onto the water. This wave kept getting bigger and by the time it got to the pier, it was taller than the hand rails. As the wave hit, and the pier made a loud groan. The end of the pier was swaying as all three jumped.

Schmitt only had a couple of feet to fall. Right before he touched the water he tossed his board to the side to keep from getting tangled up in it. That is when he realized his leash repair was substandard at best. The board untethered from his leg with ease as he hit the water. He thought for sure his board was swept away and surfaced expecting a long swim in. But his board was within reach and he hopped back on, looked to see the remaining waves of the set jacking up and heading his way. He paddled with all his might towards the horizon, barely getting over each cresting wave, until he was in smooth water. He made it out and he was loving his new board. Schmitt was reattaching his leash as Schnook and the kid paddled up. They were all smiling with amazement that, not only did they make it out alive, they were the only ones out.

It didn't take long before another a set came in. Schnook was in the right spot and started paddling for the first one. Schmitt lost sight of him after the wave passed and turned to see The Kid stroking into a bigger beast. This wave was forming a little further out than Schnooks. He was on his feet at the top of the wave when he got in front of Schmitt. Time froze for a moment as the two locked eyes. Then The Kid disappeared as if a hole had opened under him. The Kid was gone.

Schmitt turned around to see the last wave of the set jacked up to its full height ready to pitch out. He had just enough time to lay down and get a small stroke in while being pulled backward. Schmitt was standing up as he was being sucked up the face of the giant. Schmitt was used to no stroke take off because his prior board was too small to float him. This new board had flotation and he was standing up while moving backward.

The wave pitched as he got to the top, He was freefalling a couple of feet before his fin made contact with the face of the wave and took hold. Schmitt carved bottom turn and, by instinct, headed to the top, blasting through the lip of the wave and being ejected out of the top. The view of the horizon told him that his instincts sucked.

He was about 15 feet in the air which gave him panoramic view of the lines of massive waves stair stepping to the horizon. Every wave bigger than the one before. When he splashed down from his fall, his leash came off again. Schmitt surfaced and was able get on his board as the next wave broke and a wall of white water was heading for him. Schmitt had recently read in a surfing magazine of a new technique to be used in this situation, called Duck Diving. Theoretically, one only had to paddle hard towards the white water. Right before it hits, grab the nose of the board and head to the bottom. The white water will push the surfer under and behind the wave.

What happened was the white water pushed Schmitt down and held him to the ocean floor. It rip the board from his hands and started beating him with it, which was good. The board was close enough to grab and he caught the leash between his toes. He was able to pull the board back enough to grab it and surfaced in time to take a breath before the next wave hit. Again and again, Schmitt was being beaten and shoved to the bottom. This continued until he washed up against the board walk a few yards from the pier.

Schmitt was laughing like a maniac, leaning against the concrete seawall.. It was his best session ever. He caught the biggest wave of his life, was able to adapt to adverse situations. More importantly, he was still alive. The whole day had new feel. All his senses were heightened. He heard a noise overhead and look up to see a woman pointing down at him yelling" Look, kids, a surfer!" Schmitt looked up as her kids climbed the hand rail and looked down at him from the boardwalk.

He started to say something witty when felt a movement in his guts. While the ocean was rag dolling him, beating him with waves and his board, it was also injecting sea water in any and every opening. The meal from the burger joint was now dictating how this surf session would end. He started spewing copious amounts of burgers and fries.

The children had been laughing until the seagulls came to feast, swooping down, picking up fries and burgers. That changed the whole dynamic. Schnook showed up as the gagging and hurling started. He looked confused as Schmitt stood up and said, "They're sea sick" As they left the tourist could hear Schmitt say, I'm starved. It made Schmitt smile hearing the youngsters screaming "HEWIE!" as he left.

Edited: 11/20/2020 at 11:01 AM by SlimyBritches
FORUMS : Surfing : Here's a story.

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