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No Joke, Just Stoke PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Dubock   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 20:38

No Joke, Just Stoke

By Glenn Dubock

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Astrange winter passes without much rain nor wave-induced pain. Muscles and tendons that would normally be stretched and stressed are coiled and begging for intense paddling action. Springtime appears without much fanfare other than incessant winds that will only keep the kite riders and windsurfers happy. It would appear we wave-riders have somehow offended the surf gods and they have decided to punish us with a dearth of monumental waves.

Oh, how quickly our fortunes, and wave riding opportunities, can change!

A large blob appears on the weather map in a distant sea. Like a large stone chucked into a placid pond, the outward-bound ripples began their long journey to grace our shores. Predictions are made, plans are set afoot, lives are altered and we, as surfers, have hope renewed.

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In the pre-dawn hour, thousands of alarm clocks interrupt the salty dreams of sleepy surfers. A mad scramble ensues; wetsuits and wax are tossed into vehicles that have been pointed at the coast. This new swell has come on the heels of a solid drenching rainstorm so the general consensus is that the best waves might be had before the clearing winds chime in with their own brand of surf music.

“Is this an April Fools joke?” groans one dissatisfied surf forecast customer at the sight of the windblown mess that has shown up instead of the promised perfection.

Fully grown adults are reduced to child-like tantrums as they curse the fowl breeze and kick at the sand that is moving down the beach like a low-flying belt sander. But to know the twists and turns of the bending coast and the gentle massaging of the tides is to know hope for better waves ahead. And so the search begins.

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There is nothing more elemental or unique to the sport of surfing than the surf check. Be it two or 20 spots, it is the way our nomadic tribe, in the face of hopeless odds, seeks out the best of a bad situation. We cannot control the waves or the winds but we can improve our destiny by multiplying our destinations.

As the hours pass and the miles roll under your tires, it would appear that the surf is rapidly building and the winds are turning to a more favorable direction. Coves and reefs that have sat dormant for years are starting to show vital signs of surfable life. That one spot, the secret one you have held so close to your neoprene covered chest for all these years, is now looking like a private saltwater amusement park with reeling lines of pitching peaks that were the stuff of dreams just a short time ago. You find your rhythm and renew your stoke with every turn and tube you slip through. The dreary memory of days of waveless agony is suddenly parked in a distant corner of your wave-soaked brain.

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