"Just a f*cking closeout" (WSD03) -- 5/25/03

A sweet bowl

Date: May 25, 2003
Time: 0545--0900
Spot(s): Diamond Head
Conditions: Light sideshores, tough crowd
Swell: Pulsing south, slight tradewind swell
Surf: 2-3' Haw'n

Words: It was World Surf Day 2003, an alt.surfing newsgroup tradition where waveriders around the world surf on the same day (or weekend). I decided to try the borrowed 6'6" once again. Getting a little more comfortable on it every time out. Conditions were better than expected, with somewhat glassy conditions in the morning.

Was frustrated by the crowd who seemed extra-aggressive at times. I might have been especially sensitive since I was at a disadvantage riding the shortboard. Regardless, didn't expect what happened next.

I was sitting deep as usual, waiting for a wave. Finally, I got one to myself, or so I thought. A longboarder (who I've had run-ins with in the past) shoulder-hopped the wave as I dropped in. I got caught behind the peak (way behind) and in exasperation I yelled at him. We both took a tumble and he paddled back out first.

I was frustrated (and my pride was hurt). I had to give the guy a piece of my mind. So I paddled out after him and started whining. My main point was that he endangered both of us by dropping in, and I just wanted him to learn some etiquette.

It got a bit heated, with him actually asking if I wanted to fight. Right then and there I knew this was getting out of hand. Of course, I thought that arguing and fighting over waves was ridiculous, so I reiterated that it was common courtesy that I was trying to impress on him.

That's when I heard a voice in the background, speaking softly, but loud enough for everyone to hear. "Stop fighting, it was just a f*cking closeout." Another surfer who had seen it all put some reason to the situation.

Right then, I felt pretty stupid. The whitewater had indeed shut down in front of both of us. We were essentially arguing over a nothing wave.

I later talked to the eyewitness surfer, explaining the past history I had with the longboarder, and told him I appreciated the injection of reason. Still, by that time, my stoke had all but run out.

I tried to make the most of the session. But even though I was amongst mostly friends in the lineup, it just wasn't fun anymore.

Sometimes you get good sessions, sometimes you get not so good sessions. Sometimes you get nice, workable walls, sometimes you get f*cking closeouts. Whatever you get, make the most of what you got. Happy World Surf Day 2003!

Long time no see, Cameron

Buddy, full frame

Buddy snapping

Cameron off the bottom

Buddy, about to apply some pressure on the bottom

Aloha from Paradise,