Surfers are a fairly macho bunch. Even the ‘oceanbelongstoeveryoneman’ ones are. Why? Because it is really hard and can be dangerous. Sharks, drowning, sunburn.
The other day we were at Whale Beach – a beautiful spot on Sydney’s North Shores watching a group of surfers as the sun went down. They were surfing at the north end of the beach by some flat rocks. Cunning surfers save their arm strength by trotting along the beach, over the rocks and jumping in past the breaking waves and hey presto there they are.
But in a break from the norm we saw one guy paddling for the rocks and scrambling out in flailing, heaving, crablike fashion. Surfers while not being macho are cool. Cool, cool, cool. But not this guy.
He was being encouraged by a women and teenage girl on the rocks and as he scrambled out he turned to the other surfers and all three started shouting,
‘Shark! We’ve just seen a shark.’
The other surfers turned and nodded. The women continued to call,
Had they heard? One guy put his thumbs up, smiled, swivelled his board shorewards and paddled serenely for a wave.
The three came passed us on their way to inform the lifeguard further up the beach. The guy I saw was probably about 18. On his short, pointy board the words, ‘Death or Glory’ were marked in Gothic script.
What would I have on my board? Patience or Moderation? Happiness and Calm? Doughnuts or Beer?