“Still writing kak?” said Johnny Paarman to me as we sat waiting for a set at Seals the other day.
“I just saw you fuck-up a take off on a two-foot wave,” I replied with a smile. “That’s worth writing about. Your hip replacement is no excuse”
“I see you’ve lost some more hair,” he replied. “On the top of your head.”
“Careful,” I replied. “There’s another two-foot set coming through, and the next one’s yours. Go over the falls on this one and you’re going to have to go in. Local rules. If you’re nervous, just tell me, ok? Can’t be wasting any more waves of the day.”
The big wave legend with a false hip caught that set wave, got to his feet and rode it all the way through with a smile on his face.
Talking about nervous, it’s time for Teahupo’o and the Billabong Pro world’s most dangerous wave event. At this stage it looks like it’s going to be fairly small throughout the event, and many people are very happy about this.
Can’t say I blame them. Being a pro surfer must be very unsettling when a Code Red swell blips on the forecast, and you need to get out there. It’ll probably be a small wave shoot-out between Filipe and Gabriel, or maybe John John and Jordy, but not Kelly and Parko.
Talking about Code Red swells, many years ago, in 1986 in fact, the Billabong Pro moved over to Waimea and it was blue, really massive and horrifying. Rob Bain paddled out for his heat in the early morning and got caught inside by what was called a forty-foot close-out set. Bainy used to puff on the odd ciggie back then, and he made it back to the beach after a few of those waves had unloaded on his head, and promptly passed out on the beach.
This caused fellow Australian surfers Gary Green and Bryce Ellis to remove themselves from the entry list, with both withdrawing because they were too shit scared to paddle out into forty foot close-outs at a wave neither had ever surfed before.
Currently on assignment in KZN, and there are no signs of 40-foot waves. No signs of 4 foot waves. It’s about one foot, and onshore, and I’m writing 400 words of kak.
Word count including this sentence and header – 400.
By Craig Jarvis