This was inspired by the 25 things Facebook note that went around. I just thought it would be great to put down the same thing but strictly for surfing. So Here we go.
#1 Best surfing day ever. June of 1991? New England.
Kadri Kurgun Drops Anchor at Rye on The Rocks
My most vivid memory of this day is of the “so-lame-its-actually-neat” and ultra-functional Boston Harbor live-readings station on tv. It had real time wind and swell readings at all the buoys around the harbor. Nerd speak blurted out in mathematical rhythm while we all drank, jammed Warrior Soul and huffed on cigarettes. That basic interface with the sweeping hand and pong-like graphics began showing signs of the wind switching. It wasn’t supposed to switch that night so we were drinking pretty hard. But as the festivities progressed and the wind swung around ever-so-slowly, the amp factor went through the roof. I remember us all screaming and tackling each other as we realized that we were gonna score the next morning. I hopped on some one’s bike and rode to my house and grabbed all my gear. It was pretty much the middle of the night and I was hammered drunk. I luckily grabbed all the wetsuit stuff needed.
We reconvened at Chris Minesinger’s house and loaded up. The call was to hit Rye for dawn patrol since the world was going to be caught off guard. Jean Pierre, Minesinger, and myself hit the road a bit too early in an effort to pry ourselves away from the alcohol. Minesinger was smart enough to fill up a roadie for the long drive.
We arrived at Rye before the sun even cracked the horizon. Pretty ambitious right? We sat in frozen horror as no waves even sniffed at the famed point. It was darker than Danzig’s stool and colder than a witch’s tit but I had to get out and walk up to the shoreline to get a better look. I mean come on! The buoys were something like 12 feet at 16 seconds. It was puffing offshore and the water was a sheet of glass. JP stepped up behind me for a look, and Minesinger camped out at the car eating an apple. Just then a set appeared and hit the point, throwing out a solid overhead, flawless right/left. The left ran down the rocks at 100 mph for 50 yards and shit itself on the beach in front of us.
JP and I screamed and did the grab-and-pull game to see who could get back to the car fastest. We all paddled out fell on several waves, still drunk and half frozen. Minesinger moaned really loud and then threw up in the channel. It was half vodka, half just-eaten apple. We all laughed that proud laugh, very impressed with the fact that despite being hammered only two hours ago -proof floating in the channel next to Chris- we were now scoring perfect surf. Eventually we all worked the jitters out and scored some really good Rye. After a couple hours a few of the locals realized that the wind switched early and they showed up in force. So we were out of there.
Chris had to get back and open the shop, and The Donald had risen from his slumber and was to meet us at Get Bent Cove. (That’s not it’s real name). Chris dropped Jean Pierre and I on the rocks above the cove and split. The wind was elegant and gentle, the swell angle dialed to perfection, and the size exactly what this tiny little cove liked. But because this cove was surround on two sides by tall cliffs connected by a spit of sand, even a cunthair too much water shut it down. Best case scenario is exactly two hours of serviceable tides – from one hour before to one hour after low tide exactly.
We were about a half hour early and pretty excited about that. The sun was blazing in the early summer sky, and the rocks that sit right next to the take off spot were really warm. We laid out of wetties and towels and smiled as we realized we were about to get a quick nap and probably dry our suits out before the next session. So I happily put my ass down on my towel, stretched my legs out and did that little exaggerated thing were you throw your arms up and then clasp your hands behind your head. I started to lean back, and looked one last time at the ocean before hitting my back to the warm, inviting rocks.
The Mystical Cove a little mixed up, but you get the picture.
“Holy sit mate,” Pierre screamed as a absolute slut of a wave ripped across the cove, bounced off the cliff, ricocheted into a peak, heaved up, hurled over and freight trained down the line, corkscrewing along the rocks the entire length of the cove. We gawked as a five wave set did what that cove is meant to do. So we struggled into our horrid, cold, slimy suits, struggled the boots on but gave the gloves the finger. We both frantically climbed down the cliff next to the take-off spot and launched into the zone, a move that requires about one half a paddle. The waves were a couple feet over head, making the ricochette peak very solid. But Pierre and I are both goofy foots, and its a pretty sure thing when this place is firing. So we easily pulled into wave after wave after wave. And the best part is that the swell angle and size made one very unique aspect of this magic little cove come alive: the fact that it bends back out to sea as it follows the shape of the rocky shore. That way when you kick out at the end you don’t get caught inside, you are even with the peak and just have to paddle straight across the cove. Mind you, that fact also makes it a very tough wave to surf backside, as it bends away from
you despite being fairly hollow from the start.
Pierre and I shared hoots and screams as the scene unfolded. Who could ask for more? How about another one of your best friends? We heard a slight hoot from the rocks and saw The Donald dashing into the bushes, obviously headed to the car to get his gear.
The session went on with us all trading wave after wave. The sun was now high in the morning sky and the air was warm. The water was as clear as it gets and my favorite wave was cooking. Eventually the tide filled in and we had to climb up the rocks and realize, that was a special day for sure, but it was over.
Donald "The Donald Marshall" getting groovy at the Skipart (Rockport Skatepark).
A quick check at the beach break showed a lot of swell still, but everything was buried under the rising tide. But the truth was, it was still morning. And for New England, a fucking beautiful day. So we scrounged together about $3.50, seriously, and shared a small sandwich between the 3 of us. Then the idea to drive over to the outdoor skate park and enjoy a session in the sun was brought up by my favorite sun worshiper, The Donald.
I was so tired I could hardly move and I think Pierre was asleep in the back of the car on the short drive there. But once at the park, we all came alive. To be outside in shorts, at the park, in the sun. Wow. What a joy. So we sessioned for a surprising long time. Once we were all spent and sweaty, nothing sounded better than a surf.
It was now early afternoon. The wind seemed suspiciously nice and the sun still blazed the sky. When we pulled up at Long Beach you could have easily mistaken the scene for somewhere much nicer. Clear water, overhead barrels, blue sky, no one out. Are you fucking serious? The left that runs into the shallows behind the cliff, which is normally soft and short, was beginning in the middle of the beach and shotgunning into the normal area where the peak was, continuing on in its mach 5 journey into the shallows where it was backing off gently. It was that perfect beach break wave that was so fast that no matter what you did, the ride was incredible. You could drop in and gun it, or you could pump a couple and go up and crack it, or Pierre’s favorite, keep the high line and do filthy long floaters. Again a little rough for our regular footer friends, but they can eat my ass.
If I am not mistaken Chris showed back up and Kadri paddled out. After about an hour I was stuffed. My arms were jello. My face was beet red burned. My shoulder felt like someone had been charlie horse-ing me for a week. But after each ride I would walk back around to the middle and wait for a lull before wadding out as far as I could, and paddling out for another. We got home after dark. I struggled my gear up the four flights of stairs and dumped it all unceremoniously in our tiny shower. My hooker girlfriend was all over me since it was my day off we were gonna do something together. I never called and had been gone for, well, 24 hours. She bitched at me and I couldn’t even hear it. I kept trying to explain to her that it didn’t matter. The waves were epic. She was so put off. I finally gave up, ate one of Donald’s fried Bologna sandwiches and went to bed. I think she was still yelling at me for a while after I fell asleep, but who cares?