C'mon, you've all experienced right? Whether you have to get out the water to get to work, or cos your mom's now the moering with you and about to drive off and leave you behind, or cos it's getting dark or cos the conditions have gone to crud....we've all been stuck out there waiting for that last wave in.
And yrrr, sometimes it just refuses to come. How often don't you hook a pretty good wave - which you should make your last wave in, but because it was so fun our "just one more" voice wins the day and we paddle back out for another.
But boy, do you then get punished for that decision. Properly.
The wave that'll propel you homeward just refuses to arrive. You stare at the horizon, but nothing. Or maybe something does pop up, but then it's not your turn cos you're the end of the queue, having just paddled back out from your last wave.
Often you'd already decided you should be getting in cos the conditions are deteriorating so much - which is why now in retrospect you kick yourself for not making that last wave your real last wave. It's hard to get a last wave in if there're now no waves.
But you can't paddle in. It's against the rules. Absolutely. Totally. If you paddle in you will get punished. Neptune will look up at you and go "Traitor", and pencil your name onto his seaweed notepad. For that unforgivable transgression you'll be cursed with cutting your foot on a rock on your way out, getting to your car to find someone's broken into it, having your board blow off the roof on your way back home...and then get home to discover your dog, cat, girlfriend, wife,or budgie has left you. Yes, Neptune gets the moering if you show such disrespect, and his reach is far and wide.
Your next surf will be dogged by rail catches, getting sucked over the falls, landing on your fins and generally having a totally kak session. Payback time by the man with the spiky garden fork.
So never, ever, paddle in cos you get tired of waiting for that last wave in. Sit there, even if it takes 40 minutes, or it's gone dark. It's OK, sharks can't see you in the dark. The fact that you can't see the approaching set is another issue all together. Then it lands on your head and you get washed in. But at least you didn't paddle in.
Tough it out, that's part of the game, part of the price you have to pay to be called a surfer. You paddle in, what are you then, a paddler?