After adding, yet another board to the honour roll of my dysfunctional surfing career. It got me thinking, is there ever a good time to break a surfboard?
My first ever snapped board, was a JS X4 custom, snapped in two while searching for a non existent barrel at Curl Curl. After already being severely damaged on the reef at Lombok, it had the feeling of fair use and the inevitable.
So is it when a board is brand new? A new stick will hit you in the pocket rather than the heart. My latest endeavour, a brand new 8’8 big wave gun, lasted the entirety of a single wave before consignment to the graveyard. One wave that set me back in excess of $1000. Boy did that sting but it was like the sudden loss of an acquaintance, to which you only have potential and no real ties.
Is it when the board is an old favourite? Saying farewell to a long time, dinged up yellow servant, can seem a fitting send off. Better than a dusty garage or council collection retirement. Like an old warrior going down in one last battle they couldn’t win. After, we will all accept, nod and say that it was their time and a good end to a long existence. Happy memories.
The worst, has to be the splintering of your latest goto board. The board that got you in and out of the deepest barrel of your life. The one that made you feel like Slater, where you could do the impossible. The perfect board. Your best mate. It feels too soon, there were so many more adventures and waves left and you blame yourself on poor choice or poor technique. This one really hurts.
I don’t think there is ever a ‘best’ moment to break a board but if you do, then make it a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid moment. Two friends going down in a blaze of giant glory. Because if anything hurts more than busting your favourite board, its busting you favourite board doing a crappy floater on a crappy 2ft onshore closeout.
The Honour Roll since ’07
Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.