12/4: I waited to surf. When Julio (the manager at the hostel) was ready to jump on the quad, we motored to La Lora. At the bottom of the path to the beach, we could see surfers through the trees: Two guys dropped into a nice peak, splitting it with one going left and the other right like a mirror image. It’s a beautiful thing and it seems to create a universal feeling in surfers; we made sounds of pleasure and anticipation. It looked pretty banging it kept coming.
The area we paddled out into an area was mostly Israelis and a few locals, including a guy that was doing 360’s. The better surfers got the better waves so I drifted north with the currents in hopes of scoring, letting the crowd thin. There was a lull as the tide seemed to change and the sets quit; I had a chance to look around. Some distance north was an absolutely yoked white guy: He was too far to make out the details of his face, but his shape and rippling muscles were obvious. ‘There’s no doubt that this guy is a professional athlete,’ I thought. He paddled by and said hello, hunting waves but finding the time to share a little energy. You never know what people are going to do e.g. they might come within a few feet and pretend like you don’t exist, even ignoring your greetings. Not this guy. We sat and talked for a couple of minutes before he paddled off in search of more fertile hunting grounds. It seemed that here was the recognition (at least for me) of someone willing to cut to the chase, go deep. So this was how I met Chad Sayers (flick through the pics and vids on the right) – a super sweet guy who I would have the pleasure of getting to know in the coming days.
My classic surf town apres-surf conversation in the restaurant… I ran into an American surfer I’d met before. Nice kid but really fits the stereotype of a surfer. ‘You surf this morning’, I asked. ‘No, I had some stuff to do with the rental property but I heard it was good’. ‘Yeah, there were barrels’ I said. ‘Yeah, I had no idea but everyone said it was good’. ‘Yeah, La Lora was nice’. ‘Yeah, we’re gonna eat (big pause) go home and smoke a bowl(another big pause) and surf ‘. L-I-V-I-N
I walked 20 mins up the road for the afternoon sesh with dick-dragger Raphael and we could see it was on. We’d walked in a light, warm rain and the sky was still grey when we got to the beach. There were barrels. The wave there is steep and pretty fast sometimes with shallow water (2-3 meters and less when you ride one in). The Floridian surfer from earlier was out; having prepped himself with a proper bowl. I got a perfect view of him sliding into a backside barrel and fighting with it before I passed over the shoulder about 25′ away from him. There were moments where I contemplated tucking into the steep part of a wave and I grabbed rail as I dropped-in on one. I was soon engulfed in foam but it was one more clue to the mystery of barrels. My surfing is shit overall but I’m definitely better than I was 6 weeks ago so the mission is accomplished. The path is the goal.