Living inland was always a bugger. By the time the first of my friends began to drive we were too busy going to the cinema and playing football on the weekend to bother with the beach. through my GCSE’s and A-levels surfing passed me by like an old friend I’d moved away from. We would be civil to one another: but I just never called to catch up.
Truth be told I never strived to get myself to the coast during the years of discovery: girls, beer, music, parties. I still held the “surfer fanboy” aspect together: all of my clothes would be surfing clobber, I’d be wearing flip-flops come rain or shine, the posters stayed up and I still talked as though I were Bobby Martinez himself [DON’T]. Looking back these were the years I let the salt-water get away from me, and I regret that the most.
During my ‘gap year’ I worked a silly amount of jobs to raise a bit of capital before I decided what to do next. One day I got a reply from one of two universities I’d applied for telling me that I had a place, and I was due to start in a matter of months. That same day I sat at my keyboard and talked myself into booking a return flight to Sydney. I left the next day.
The journey went by in a flash. I managed to find my way along the Golden Coast on a shoestring, had a great time… but for a number of poor excuses didn’t go surfing. I spend a lot of time trying to justify myself to myself about this trip, but at the end of the day this is how it went:
Proposition: Wannabe surfer plans to travel along one of the most notorious surfing coastlines in the world.
Conclusion: Wannabe surfer avoids any/all surf for entirety of trip.
Excuses aside, I didn’t surf. Not once. At the time I was ruthlessly angry with myself, I still am to some degree. Arriving home I shared my stories with my family and packed my bags for university. I would be heading to the South coast of Devon, and I had a score to settle with myself.