Ok so last post I talked about embracing danger. Now I’m not so sure. Most of you know me as a gung-ho surfer who charges waves wherever I can find them. But I’m going to share a little secret with you that is just between you and me. If this one gets out it could seriously hurt my hardcore reputation – surfing reef breaks scares me. Yep there I said it. In fact, they’re enough to cause a spontaneous surfer sauna, to put it nicely.
So why the freak-out when I’m the gun surfer? Surely this can’t be right? Well I hope you’re sitting down because here’s another bombshell – I’ve never surfed reef breaks before. Ouch two big reveals in the same blog post. But all that aside I guess it’s like a lot of things you’ve never tried – it’s the dreaded fear of the unknown, something which is notoriously difficult to assuage. I mean how can you calm your fears when you have no idea how you’ll cope? It’s the same feeling I had skating vert ramps, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, sick from adrenaline but possessed with the need to do it now you’ve put yourself up to it – of course it had nothing to do with the fact all your mates are cheering you from the sidelines. Yep no backing down now.
Actually had a comment from a guy who’s just got back from a Tonga surf trip and he said they didn’t get any reef cuts just bruises so that’s making me feel better. Bruises I can handle; it’s the cuts, the flaps of skin, the stinging betadine and the toothbrush to extract coral bits from the wound that freak me out. Apparently the reef isn’t razor sharp so that’s quite the relief. I think I’ll just be stoked to be paddling out in 23-degree water while back home its a blistering -3 frost. I don’t think I’ll take my full-length wetsuit (I don’t have a springie) just boardies and a rash vest should do it. And booties. Don’t forget the booties. If I really was Mr Safety First I’d be taking my Garth helmet too. But this bad boy likes to play it a little on the unsafe side.
Actually the whole of Tonga is for me an unknown quantity. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the place as a tourist destination because a lot of it is third world but at the same time it sounds like the people are really hospitable and for me that’s a trade-off I’m happy to make. If the people are anywhere as friendly as Steve from Ha’atafu Surf Resort then I think we’ll be in good hands. There’s also the whole modesty thing on the beaches so there’ll be no flexing of the guns or showing off my gold speedos (gutted) and Sundays the whole island shuts down pretty much. But like a lot of our travels, it’ll be an adventure and I think that’s half the fun. The other half is making it back in one piece.
So I’m amped to do this now – I’ve talked myself into it, there’s no getting out of it. Especially now that I’ve gone public to you guys about all my fears and insecurities. My masculinity is on the line and I’m under the hammer (way too many metaphors going on here) so not only do I have to do it – I have to bring back evidence. Will a reef scar do?