Friday, November 19, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes

When the Weird sisters, foretellers of Macbeth’s fate in Shakespeare’s play of the same name, describe Scotland with, “fair is foul, and foul is fair,” they may as well have been talking about surfing the Northcoast. Surfers get absolutely jazzed about conditions up here that are, by most standards, terrible. Wind, cold, rain, wind, cold, fog, wind, thunder, whitecaps, monstrous sucking beachbreak dumpers, sharks, wind. Whatever.
The first year I surfed up here I made the mistake of bitching about the wind to another surfer as we hunkered in the lineup, sideshores blowing so hard we had to keep our eyes squeezed shut. “Not a big fan of whitecaps,” I confessed after an hour of this nonsense.
“Whitecaps?” he asked, spinning his board and clawing into an absurdly thick double-up. “Up here we call ‘em glassycaps!” he shouted, then disappeared over the ledge.
Several years ago I was checking a sandbar at one of our local beachbreaks on a typical day: windy, blown-to-bits closeouts, glassycaps galore, and not even the hint of an open face. Still, five guys were on it.
As I watched, absolute in my decision to head back home to a hot cup of coffee, all five spun on their boards and made haste to the beach. Not a common sight up here, but not an uncommon one, either.
“See a fin?” I stupidly asked one of the guys as we stood on the shore, squinting toward the ocean.
“Couple,” he said.
“Gonna pack it in?” I asked.
He shot me a what-you-talking-about-Willis face and said, “and miss out on this?” His hand gestured to the malevolent shorebreak, the pounders beyond unloading onto an ill-formed sandbar barely visible through the pea-soup air.
Five minutes later the five men huddled, agreed the two sharks were long gone, then paddled straight back into the fog. I made my way back to the parking lot, quickly pulled on my wetsuit, and agreed with the dude on the beach: who would miss out on this?
It’s not until the fourth act that the Northcoast/Macbeth parallel dissolves.
“Such welcome and unwelcome things at once,” says McDuff, the play’s moral champion. “’tis hard to reconcile.”
If he were a surfer up here, it wouldn’t be hard to reconcile at all.
This 9’something LB is for local shredder/teacher JL, stranger neither to The Bard nor our frigid waters. Shaping boards for teachers is a pleasure—these guys understand community better than almost anyone I can think of. Plus, you can say something like, “let’s screw our courage to the sticking place” when suiting up on a big day and they don’t think you’re insane.
Win win.
As per usual, all color is pigmented resin, and all glasswork by Leslie Anderson at Fatty Fiberglass who may or may not be making out with some dude in Alaska at this very moment. Much to give thanks for this year!

3 comments:

Surfsister said...

My goodness! This board porn and intelligent conversation just gets to me. That board is truly stunning!

HeadHighGlassy said...

Thanks, sis. Clearly, you are full o' th' milk of human kindness.
Wait, was that too dorky?

Joe Linker said...

Great looking board. Good colors. Good size. Would like to see this one in the next JohnL film!