A look at my personal surf hell

Even though the waves are pulling, it’s just not much fun for some people. Photo: Brian Yurasits//Unsplash

What do you imagine when you picture your own surf hell? Holds infinite waves? Surfing next to a hundred middle-aged guys named Chet? Being surrounded by newbies wielding foam boards that will literally and figuratively burn you for eternity? The wave-rich state of Nebraska? Or maybe you’re living it right now – and, if so, welcome to hell, fishing buddy! It’s great here – much better than those pious piles of suckers in heaven strumming lutes and frolicking in the fields. We have booze, heavy metal, the two best Beatles and lots of surfing. We even have a Sbarro now! Can I offer you a hot Zima?

The eternal damnation of surfing is all about nuance. You can’t just throw a bunch of souls into a lake of fire, add swell, and expect everyone to be terrified. It’s just another summer Saturday in Lowers. The Devil is in the details, they always say. And that’s why my personal surfing hell starts in an unlikely place – Maine.

At first glance, my underground pit looks like heaven – it’s an empty beach producing perfect A-frames. The wave itself is an easy drop, has racy sections for maneuvering, and ends in a head-height barrel that would bring KSWaveCo to its knees. It would be the brightest wave no one has ever laid eyes on.

Except there’s one problem: it’s the middle of winter. In Maine. Even hell is struggling with climate change.

But don’t be afraid! I’m a resourceful boy who plans ahead and brought a wetsuit. And not just any suit – the best suit money can buy: the HEAT HOARDER 9000 – designed by a team of NASA engineers using space-age materials, it hugs the contours of my body to a perfect fit, maximum warmth and increased aerodynamics.

But therein lies our second problem. It’s a 3/2.

There are penguins waddling around. Some of them drink Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. It’s cold, man.

Its good! A 3/2 suit is still warm enough. The HEAT HOARDER 9000 should keep me warm enough to endure at least one perfect wave before heading back to the comfort of my assigned car in hell (fingers crossed for a Pontiac Aztek).

But – oh. Oh no. The 3/2 is soaked. So now, to ride that glorious wave ahead of me, I have to struggle to dunk wet neoprene when it’s around eight degrees outside to avoid freezing to death. And of course there is a catch here – I will freeze, but I will never die. You cannot die once you are dead. It’s scientific.

Because I’m a brain-dead cave surfer who sees a perfect wave and thinks “mmmm – me surfing the wave.” Wave good” I’ll still pull, pull and stretch this now literally wet suit on my body, toiling it in freezing temperatures until it finally fits, and attempting the paddle despite the incredibly atrocious conditions I was presented with. I will immediately become a block of ice.

Because I’m a sweet Southern Californian, the cold keeps my body from functioning and turns me into an ugly statue. Any hope I might have had of shivering my way through a wave or two will be immediately dashed once my knees refuse to bend, I lose feeling in my feet, and my pop-up turns into a a slow rolling towards failure. If I got through these arctic conditions and got back up, I’d be nothing more than a morning wood on a surfboard – standing with no idea what I’m doing here.

And that would be my surfing hell – shivering and hurting for eternity. Too frozen to enjoy a perfect wave, too proud to give up and too stupid to ask if this area of ​​hell has a surf shop to buy hotter gear.

And of course they do – but it’s a PacSun.

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