Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Bali Story: Surf-o-Tech? Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!

Unfortunately, for me, I haven’t been back to Bali since 2004. Where does time go? On that last international surf trip, I decided to take a yellow 7’0 SurfTech, which was new technology and very controversial with surfers, and a sweet, white, 7’10 Sockeye thruster, surfboard. I didn’t want to be sitting neck deep in the waves (water) on my 6’4. At age 40, I disperse a little more water than I like to admit, although it definitely helps with buoyancy over a shallow reef. One advantage deserves a disadvantage. The buoyancy thing is both positive and negative. The issue which is not so positive is I resemble a huge walrus in the open sea for any sharks in the area to admire and desire. Tiger sharks are lovely.

Anyway, I arrive in Bali with my boards packed snugly in my FCS board bag to witness the Indonesian baggage belt block up. My boards happened to be the catalyst to the blockage. The Indo baggage guys begin to tweak my boards back and forth on the belt opening’s edges, leveraging the boards to move heavy hard case, tourist bags until the jam was cleared. My jaw had dropped to my chest as I think the worst. The worst had occurred, as I unpacked my boards, the Sockeye was dinged on both rails and punctured in places unbelievable, but the Surf Tech was unscathed.

My awesome Bali guide named Made, said, “No worries the boys can fix it quick for about $50.00 dollars. The Bali boys are fantastic and they can fix anything quick, including broken boards. At Ulawatu, I spied 1970’s, Lightning Bolt, single fins with young Balinese absolutely demolishing the clean wall of waves.

Okay, to the story. I am paddling out on my Surftech surfboard and these Japanese guys (with top of the line hand shaped boards), look over and start laughing at my board. I hear them speak loudly, “Surfotech? Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!” My Japanese surf brothers are making fun of my Surftech. This is not totally unusual as a lot of surfers can’t stand the computer manufacturing of blanks and new epoxy resin. Change is difficult for some, not me.

Note: Most traditional surfboards are hand shaped and glassed, but Surftech is a computer shaped blank with an epoxy fiberglass.

After an hour of being cut off and dropped in on by a Japanese gang of rude, control freak surfers, I got a little bit angry, which is not my normal disposition. I believe waves are to be shared and peace in the water. It appeared that I would need a new tactic to enable me to get a few waves, as these guys had no intention of sharing. I thought for a moment about their jesting and I remembered being sucked into a pier surfing a gulf coast hurricane swell while in Corpus Christi, Texas. Why is the Corpus story important? I hit the pier hard and incurred no damage to the integrity of the board. So what is the point? The point is I began to drop in on the waves, starring at my Japanese wave hogs and screaming “SurfoTech! HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA.” One might say I went Kamikaze on my Japanese peers. The result or funny thing is I got my share of the waves – thanks to Surftech. One collision with my surf tech and those guys were out $700-$800 dollars. Surf with confidence, surf with Surftech. When the line-up is full of rabid dogs, bring out the Surftech. Heck, just bring out the Surftech.

Laughing is good for the soul so laugh while you can, then I break out the surf-o-tech! Ha-Ha-Ha! I drop in singing:

Michael had a Surf-o-Tech, Surf-o-Tech, Surf-o-Tech,

Michael had a Surf-o-tech, a surfing he would go!

And every where that Michael went, Michael went, Michael went,

And, every where that Michael went, the Surftech is sure to go!

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