first day on new board - wet dream then nightmare

  • the wound
  • my medical work

Today, the 12th of July, I took my brand new board out for it's first session. Because I got it really cheap I was a bit worried that as soon I got it in the water it would sink, but fortunately it rode beautifully. I really struggled at first because it's much shorter than any board I had ridden before and after being in the water, and paddling my ass off for every wave that came along without success I was getting frustrated.

After a while, I nice set came in and the longboarder who was hogging the waves all morning caught the first one in that set - along with all the other guys and girls in the water. Again I was so annoyed cause I didn't get in on the action. But, after that wave came another sweet one. Probably about shoulder high. There was no way my board was leaving the water a virgin on the first day. I paddled my ass off, paddled, paddled, paddled, and then "Pop!!" I was up! The board was so much quicker than what I've had before and just went so smoothly. I felt like I was riding a wave for the first time. As the wave started closing out, I popped out of it and just started giggling like a schoolkid. It was like that feeling you got when did something for the first time as a kid - first kiss, first bicycle ride etc - eventhough it wasn't my first time on a wave! I turned around, and Miko (a really cool French dude who's a movie animator in San Francisco and whom I did the death road with in Bolivia, and now came up here for a bit of surf time - great guy to hang out with!) gave me a big thumbs up. I think he could tell I had been getting a bit pissed off.

For the next couple of hours I caught a few good waves and Miko was ripping it up on a body board. When I caught what was meant to be my last wave, I just couldn't help going back for more. As usual my "not quitting while I'm ahead" side of the brain let me down. I went back into the lineup and noticed a girl paddling around, who was clearly not very comfortable. Then a bit of a big wave came in, and she lost total control of her board and started heading towards me. I duck-dived as deep as i could go, but still it wasn't deep enough. I felt a sharp blow to the ball of my foot and immediately knew she had hit me with her board fins and straight away I just hoped it hadn't cut me open. I came up in agony, and paddled over to Miko and asked if my foot was bleeding but he couldn't see any blood - "Sweet it'll just be bruised". I paddled back to the beach where the girl was sitting, got a very unsympathetic "Sorry" from her and then looked down at my foot and there was quite a bit of blood coming out of it. After washing the sand off it I saw that the fin had actually cut through the skin. I stretched the cut open a bit and could see, fortunately, that it had only gone in about half a centimetre, so I decided it wouldn't need stitches (this is based on my years of experience in the medical field). Headed back to the hostel and after a few minutes of scrubbing the hell out of the cut, with dettol, I patched it up with some very unimpressive bandage work.

I can't really stand it now, so I know I won't be back in the water for a day or 2, which is really disappointing. This means tomorrow I can catch up on my very overdue project, so not all bad. Also, on a very positive note, my board came out totally unscathed, which means shielding it with my body paid off.

They say alcohol is a good disinfectant, so I think it's time for a beer right about......now.