Bring summer, bring water, and bring interesting swells for family and loved ones.
A much needed swell produced some nice looking waves, but a few more injuries than I wanted to contend with–you know who you are… I thought it prudent to take a few minutes and enjoy some shore-pound alignment courtesy of Coronado St.
What a weekend! DST and I both entered the 2017 ISF Bodysurfing Championships, in Manhattan Beach, and crushed it. The prior week saw a nice swell, which gave us some good water-time and plenty of ‘contest practice’ (read: doing a bunch of goofy tricks).
Daniel’s sudden-death heat of nine boys went off in 2-3′ (occasional 4′) surf, making for a great show that lined the pier and beach. Dolphun played the heat perfectly–jockeying for position and selecting waves that allowed him to pull off controlled double-spinners and fun take-offs that had the beach whistling and hooting. (It’s an indescribable feeling listening to a bunch of really good bodysurfers let out a “Yeeeewwwww!” whenever Daniel slotted into a green barrel with a smile on his face.) The result was almost self-evident: Daniel shouldn’t do worse than 2nd, but, heck, this is contesting–local clubs and favorites have a way of making their way to the top.
The announcer held out for a few beats before reading off the name of 2nd place, teasing the crowd and giving this dad a heart attack. I didn’t even hear him say, “1st place goes to Daniel Thurmond” as I was already jumping around knowing that he had won. Simply awesome.
If DST’s performance was the stuff of winning in style, my own day was a scrappy dog-fight with 18 other “senior” men that still could really bring it in the water. Some were swimmers, others just brilliant bodysurfers. My first heat resulted in a 2nd place, propelled more by the shear number of waves I caught than by any stand-out tricks, but it was good enough to push me into the finals. In the finals, I kept to my plan: get all 10 waves that can be scored (they take the top four) and pull out a storage locker of the goofiest tricks I would never do on a big day. I came out of the water thinking “maybe a 3rd,” as I’d seen several guys pick off some long rides and bigger waves. But the judges thought differently. By a slight margin, I pulled it off: 1st place and two Thurmonds on top of the box at the end of the day. I couldn’t wear a wider smile. We won a bunch water gear and wine, but, more importantly, we had fun, made a few new friends, and created a memory that I’ll never forget.
If you grew up in Balboa, you know what this is…
Everyone who worked on the Balboa Ferry had one and, let me tell you, it was cool. Take money, give change, ride a boat back and forth across the harbor all day. That, at the tender age of nine, was cool. One might imagine that it’s sort of equivalent to kick-flipping a $600 iPhone or spinning those stupid ball-bearing toys, but this, friends, came with skill and responsibility — make change on a buck without looking…yes; give a nod and a free ride to a buddy short on scratch…absolutely. Be cool, bring it back.