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Fools Rush In

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After nearly a week of consistent rain with fleeting reprieves it looks like the sunshine is finally ready to reemerge. It is our final day in Cooly before trekking to Brisbane for a few days to catch some concerts (Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries, and Wolfmother one night followed by Xavier Rudd the next) and pick up our great buddy Ted so he can spend several weeks with us. We are nearing our halfway point in Australia as we recently purchased one way tickets to Cambodia in July. Ted’s arrival marks the launch of a steady stream of visitors over the next months which will undoubtedly hasten the passage of time. We pass the day by packing, reading and playing in the front yard (Kirra Beach) where Nug snaps a few pics of me surfing. To put a feather in the cap of the day we hike to the top of Kirra Hill with some wine to catch the sunset and enjoy the first rain free evening in days. At the top I suggest we sit on the steep grassy knoll overlooking Coolangatta. “It will be to damp,” Nug responds. I spy a bench in the middle of the grassy area and bolt across the greenery while needling Nug to follow. Halfway to the seat the soggy grass comes to life. It feels as if a rug is being rudely swiped from beneath me to the left and I am suddenly airborne. My feet start churning like the road runner cartoon and both hands strain to roll up imaginary windows. My plight is hopeless. My flailing arms fling sheets of wine into my face. I wince at the burning of wine in my eyes a split second before my entire freshly showered frame Pete Rose slides into the sludge. I look up at Nug with pitiful eyes and am met with the most uncontrollable, disturbing laughter I have ever encountered. I fully expect her to choke on her own chortles. After no less than a minute the witch cackles die down and with tears in her eyes she works out a half-hearted, “Are you hurt?” All I can muster is a pathetic, “Does my pride count?” as I lower my face back into the muck.

Surfer's Paradise

Front Yard Barrel

Budgie Smugglers

Kirra Hill Sunset

Nug and the Sea Eagle

Nug and the Sea Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

Why Surfing is the Best Sport

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The last few days have found us sauntering down to Snapper Rocks to watch the Quiksilver Pro.  This is the first event of the 2012 ASP WCT (World Championship Tour) and features the best surfers in the world along with a large multinational crowd and media circus.  There is no cost to attend and free stuff seems to pop up everywhere.  Sitting atop the hill with Nug and watching the action go down led me to an epiphany…Surfing is the best sport and here are 6 extremely biased reasons why.

  1. Setting– Surfing involves soaking up sun and floating in the ocean.  It directly utilizes the power of nature.  Quite often I find myself in beautiful locales with blue skies, white sand beaches, palm trees and azure water.
  2. The uniform– Typically, it is done in a pair of boardshorts or a bikini (I despise cold water).  It is comfortable to be half naked and it’s always agreeable to observe the fairer sex frolicking around in next to nothing whether in the water or on the beach.  Let’s be honest…I love snowboarding too but I would much rather see Nug in her bikini than concealed in snowboarding gear.
  3. Travel– Surfing is one of the main reasons I started to travel.  “It might be better if we drive a bit further,” is a phrase that I have uttered a thousand times.  The chase helped me develop an appreciation of the world beyond my local bubble and frequently shoved me out of my comfort zone.  Whether it is a drive one hour down the coast or hopping a plane to the other side of the world, surfing has expanded my horizons to be open to different places, cultures and people.
  4. It’s acceptable to pee yourself– Nowhere else (since I was 2) have I had the freedom to freely pee as I do when surfing.  If the water is cold and I am in a wetsuit it’s even better!  The pros certainly go for it in contests as well.  What would happen if Tom Brady did that on the field?!
  5. Transcends boundaries – My dad is in his 6th decade of life and loves to surf.  Even my wife enjoys it when the waves are small and the water is clear.  On any given day people from 3 years old to 80 or more are enjoying the ocean and the sunshine.  All over the world people enjoy the sport simultaneously on the “same field”.  It offers a common bond that connects generations and cultures.  No other sport builds bridges as successfully between such wide ranges of people.
  6. Accessibility of top professionals– Surfing is one of the few sports where I can regularly participate alongside the world’s best.  Any kook has the chance to split a peak with Kelly Slater (I know from experience) and still have a great time.  How much fun would it be if Kobe Bryant marched into my pickup basketball game and how pitiful would my crossover dribble look to him?  At the contest the pros walk through the spectators to and from their heats and actually talk with fans and sign autographs along the way.

Julian Wilson

Kelly Slater

Taj Burrow


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