Hello swell!

After what seemed like forever, this week swell returned to the Sunshine Coast.

“Hello swell, I’ve missed you! Thanks Huey!” I kept thinking.

Paddling out, I couldn’t help but smile so much my face almost hurt. There were a few extra crew at my local beach access but it wasn’t a crowd and everyone was so happy as we pulled into wave after glorious wave.

I caught a set wave and pulled into a close-out. What can I say? It’s fun. Paddling out again I noticed an older guy struggling to get out. Head down, arms flailing he paddled for the horizon as another wave came. He eventually made it out to where I was sitting and smiled.

“Made it out ‘eh?” he said.

“Yeah. Got smashed on that last one, but it’s all good. So fun out here today!” I replied.

Now, I’m not a great surfer. Upper-middle intermediate? But I was catching some great waves and getting barrel after barrel so I was doing ok, which is what made what came next confusing.

Old mate felt the need to give me coaching. He called me into waves that weren’t going to break and suggested I sit on the shoulder rather than the peak all before he’d ever caught a wave of his own.

This isn’t the first time a stranger has tried to tell me how to surf. Last month in the Maldives, a friendly Frenchman told me not to be scared (I wasn’t) and that I should paddle further in if I wanted to get a good wave.

Liz – not chicken at Chickens and sitting in the perfect spot for this wave…

It makes me wonder why guys feel the need to do this. I get that in some part of their minds, they are trying to be nice, but it’s not. I don’t need their help and if I did, I’d ask. The problem for me lies in the fact that I simply can’t imagine them offering advice to a random guy in the water. It’s that they think they know better than me, because, well, they’re men.

Every time this happens, I do the polite thing and just nod and smile but yesterday I was was having too much fun. I’d been out for ages and my arms were turning to spaghetti so while old mate was floundering on the inside again after going over the falls, I paddled into a wave, grabbed my rail and got barrelled right in front of him before riding all the way into the beach.

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.