A Post-Lockdown Surf Tale.

With another full national lockdown lumbering away all around us it’s worth trying to keep your chin up by thinking about how goddamn sweet that first session is going to be when we’re all allowed to see the sea again. I just hope my next post-lockdown surf is half as good as my last post-lockdown surf.

I’m not going to lie. I kinda enjoyed the first lockdown last year. What was happening globally was grave, concerning, troubling and an entirely new experience. It certainly wasn’t all good. Homeschooling was a nightmare, for starters. But the weather was pretty fucking decent, I got to spend some time with the family, I got really good at daytime-drinking again and I did manage to sort out a load of DIY projects my wife has been going on about for years (a lockdown cliche of an experience).

But not being able to readily visit the coast wasn’t too much fun for someone who lives juuust too far away to walk there easily, but was used to driving there a couple of times a week. So when, by… some point in the year (was it May? Was anyone keeping track?) restrictions slackened enough to bundle the kids in the car and head to the coast we were well up for it.

The log in all its glory.

I didn’t even check the surf. The pressure was high so I thought it would be shit, and I was taking the kids (on my own, my wife being all key-workery and stuff) so I didn’t think I’d have time for anything but sandcastles. I was pretty disappointed when I got there and it was… OK. I mean, it wan’t great but I hadn’t even seen a wave since January. It was clean enough, bit small maybe, but it looked fun. There was a few people out but nowhere near the normal amount. I started getting itchy feet.

Whilst heading back to my car (probably for a pack of wet wipes or some shit), I noticed the surf school were flogging old foamies for £30 a pop. Being all covid safe and stuff I’d not bought any cash, and they didn’t have a card machine. My eye started twitching in annoyance. It didn’t really matter though; I have too many kids to abandon them all on the beach and I didn’t have a wetsuit with me. I didn’t even have any boardies.

Lost cause.

Well. Imagine my surprise when my parents turned up. Bloody childcare, right there on the beach. BOOM. (I don’t actually know why they were there, I didn’t think to ask.)

‘Daaaaaad…’ (I might be in my 30s but this still works sometimes.)
‘You, er… got any cash on you?’
‘Do you want to get the kids an ice cream?’ (That would have been the kind thing to do.)
‘.. I need £30 right now.’

Like fucking Christmas, it was. Next thing my kids, their grandparents and everyone else on the beach saw of me was when a pink, flabby blur ran headlong into the water with a leaking, dented, misshapen 9ft log in nothing but my pants.

You ever want to guarantee that no one drops in on you then make sure you’re an out of shape, mostly naked dude in your 30s with a shit board. Wide berths all round.

It was fucking lovely. That board will catch anything. As long as all you intend to do is go in a straight line. Being quite literally a 1:1 scale model of the Titanic I now fully understand how they hit that iceberg.

The ride home could have been more comfortable, my son still complains of neck pains from sitting with his head at a 90 degree angle so I could fit that bad boy diagonally across his car seat. (Sorry mate, the Orthopedist says you’ll grow out of it… probably.)

As surfs go, it is one of my favourites, not for anything really other than the looks on the faces of everyone else on the beach. I like to think that in the background of some over-bronzed, under-brained wannabe influencer’s selfie somewhere on Insta there’s me, legging it across the sand, all boxers, smiles and shitty foam board. Geddon.

If you’re looking for something else to read on the toilet we’ve got some other articles here.



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