Have you ever been surfing? I have. It’s fucking awesome. I’ve done it a few times out in California and no matter what anyone tells you, even if you’re just riding shitty beach breaks (which is all I can handle) it’s not easy. And you’re probably not going to get that good at it. Take me for instance, I am a terrible surfer.
That last sentence isn’t true. Sorry… that second last sentence isn’t true. You will get better, but you have to live like J to do it. Or this guy. My point is that I don’t live close enough to decent surf to become a decent surfer. I’d like to say I’m over it, but I’m not. That’s just the way it is. I know people surf the Great Lakes, which is pretty cool, but I can’t say that I’m convinced. I’m not sure that surfing chop in a 5/4 suit on Lake Ontario in January delivers in quite the same way as cruising even the worst Pacific backwash in boardies in July. I haven’t tried the former, but, well, stop me if I’m wrong.
The first time I surfed was two years ago at Pacific Beach in San Diego. I got up on my third wave, rode for five glorious seconds and fell off. It was amazing. I spent the next few days trying to do it again, which of course didn’t happen. At one point during my last session, I sputtered and flailed my way onto the crest of another roller (secondary?), but as it started to break, the noise of the rushing water frightened me from my board. I’m serious. I was scared shitless.
I paddled for shore and sat down in the sand. Slowly, as I watched other surfers carving up waves and hanging fives and tens from pier-length boards, a bassline crept into my head. I couldn’t get rid of it. Loopy and brooding, it was a perfect soundtrack to the intensity of the surfing experience. Shit like this happens a lot when I skate, actually. I’m always getting bits for tunes in my head while trying new tricks or just pushing down the road somewhere to get beer. Sometimes these ideas stick and you can build something good from them, and for whatever reason, this one did. I finally recorded the song after close to two years of living with it as nothing more than an earworm while paging through surf mags. Try it out. The title is a bit of a gimmie.
I haven’t surfed since February, when I managed to fart out a few embarrassing sessions during a weekend visit to San Diego. I miss it. During one of these sessions, as I was falling, my board whacked me in the mouth and tore up my gums pretty nice. It sucked, but I remember thinking then and there that I’d still surf every day if I could. So, instead of griping about where I live and how that limits me, maybe the best thing to do is to go somewhere on a trip and make it happen. For now, Surf Song will have to do. I wouldn’t consider it finished, and its title blows, but still, it’s like a VdS version of