Mixed Plate
"I Like See!"
Originally published in Bodyboarder International Magazine, Vol 6, #4

Everyone has magical sessions. Let me tell you about one of mine.

It was the summer of 1982, a banner season as far as south shore surf was concerned. I had just graduated from high school, and that summer proved to be a turning point in my obsession for bodyboarding.

My good buddy Taka and I were looking forward to college, but not before three months of total freedom, including some major surfing.

Taka worked as a landscaper on a huge estate. It was a beautiful place complete with a private road winding down into a lush, tropical valley. But what was so very special about the place was that it was fronted by a perfect little cove with a couple of great sandbar breaks. They very fickle waves, but when conditions were just right, the place fired like no other.

Because he worked there, Taka had the "ins" to place, so we had full access to this little secret spot.

Back then, Taka's favorite line was, "I like see!" He said it as a challenge, like he wanted to see me take off on the next (big) wave and pull in. Whenever he said that to me, I, more often than not charged the wave, despite the consequences.

One afternoon, we decided to check out the break. As we drove down to the cove, we couldn't believe our eyes. The waves were a perfect head-high and magical. And we had it all to ourselves.

Taka had his trusty Morey 132, an ultra-narrow excuse for a bodyboard. I had my Morey Mach 7-7 with the black bottom that blistered in the sun. We were styling.

We quickly paddled out and gorged ourselves on wave after barreling wave. We frolicked around like little kids in a candy store, trying to ride the tubes for as long as possible. "I like see" was said many times that day, as we pushed each other harder and harder. Bodyboarding good waves alone with just your friend is what it's all about.

The afternoon sun eventually fell behind the cliffside and cast a black background behind the surf. Meanwhile, the steady offshore spray sparkled with a silvery sheen. That image is the stuff that dreams are made of.

... like it was yesterday...

I still vividly recall riding one crouching barrel in particular. I used to stand on my board back then--that was 35 pounds ago. I remember the takeoff (always a little late), the tuck (a quasimodo pose), the teardrop (looking out of the green room), then the tumble (extra long and dark).

Sometimes memories become like big fish tales, getting bigger and better as the years go by. Sometimes the images fade. Well, this session has been permanently burned into my memory banks. And whenever I stop believing that the conditions were so good, or that it even really happened, I just pull out my old photo albums and remember Taka's challenge: "I like see!"