Wednesday, October 6, 2010

#11 Getting a New Surfboard

Surfers the world over get giddy just thinking about it.  Like little kids cracked out on candy canes come Christmas Eve, surfers anxiously await that special day of reckoning when the stars align and wallets lay flush with enough greenbacks to score a new board.  Runner up to scoring waves, getting a new board is one of the most coveted moments in a surfers’ life.  It’s a time of renewed stoke where the shredding possibilities seem endless, especially when armed with a gleaming new stick! 

Surfers tend to get new boards for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps like Rick Kane, “he broke his stick, he rip so bad” (see North Shore) and needs a replacement board a.s.a.p.  More likely a surfer just desires a new board to up their overall wave riding experience while others do it to round out their growing quiver of boards for all conditions. New boards offer up more resilient materials, present newer technologies, and provide better response underfoot to boot. It doesn’t hurt that new boards are cosmetically superior to their pressure dinged, teetering on destruction, Craigslist bound predecessors.  Like beaming white coffee stained teeth after a two week trial of Crest White Strips, new boards are the arm candy (that don’t cause cavities) for surfers lucky enough to flaunt these pearly white wave riding vehicles.

Surfboards cost a good deal of money and don’t grow on trees as surfer Mom and Dad’s the world over might attest to. Because of this, some surfers might wait months, even years to re-up on a new board while the luckiest few (pros) get them hand shaped and delivered halfway around the world for free.  Whatever the situation may be, getting a new board is a rite of passage for any surfer. It tends to reignite the spark in a surfers’ surfing like no other.  In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a myriad of atypical personality traits develop in a once seemingly drained and apathetic surfer when they get their hands on a new board.  For example, once unthinkable utterances might be heard from the late night boozer of the group such as; “yea guys, I think I’m gonna bail on the $2 you call it night, surf looks like it might be kinda fun for the dawn patrol”!  Reports of surfers seen sprinting to the surf when it’s only knee high dribble or obsessively waxing their new board in perfect concentric circles are nothing to be alarmed at, in fact it is the rule!

When it comes to buying a surfboard, surfers are notorious window shoppers.  The entire process of shopping for a new board is comparable to checking out girls.  Case in point, surfers tend to ogle, size up, and manhandle the vivacious curves, rails, and rocker of a potential new board with the fervor of a pent up, sexually frustrated teenager.  Boards that may look fun from afar tend to get played with then tossed back on the rack like the village bicycle if the dimensions are not to the surfer’s liking. Worse yet, if the board is overly expensive it may signal to the surfer that this board is off limits, out of their league, a bonified goldigger of a surfboard dressed in a sexy price tag negligee cruelly touting “here big boy, come and ride me…..that is if you can afford me!”.    

As with any new investment, surfers often deliberate over paying too much or getting shafted on quality when buying a new board. Big name shaper vs. local shaper, PU vs. Epoxy; what is a surfer to do? This cloud of indecision weighs heavily on surfers at first but gradually melts away after copious amounts of surf infused daydreaming and research.  Like a slow drip IV delivering its medicine, surfers begin to imagine themselves getting the wave of the day at their local break or arcing an obscenely tight Slater style turn in the pocket on their new board. The seed is invariably planted in the surfers’ head and there’s no going back, it’s time to get a new board!

When the day finally comes for a surfer to get their new board, all doubts and worries are replaced with puppy eyed infatuation at their latest acquisition.  Some surfers become smitten on the spot with their new board and put it on a pedestal like a romantic conquest (surfers have been known to take the concept of board love to another level as evidenced by the fad of airbrushing hot chicks onto surfboards (See Board Love)). For a period of at least 2 months, nobody else will get to ride it and the only acceptable lines of communication are of admiration and envy from their bros.  The first date (or shall we say 1st go out) with a new board is a highly anticipated moment for any surfer, yet rarely lives up to its hype.  Squandered by unrealistic expectations of surfing like Dane Reynolds because they now have the Al Merrick Proton board is a deserved let down. But what if the waves do not cooperate, who’s to blame? (The waves always go flat when a surfer gets a new board; a popular urban legend amongst surfers).  Whatever the situation may be, whether your next new board is break-up material or develops into full fledged relationship status, take heart, either way there’s always another new board around the corner! 


1 comment:

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