There’s a friend of mine, he doesn’t like to surf when it’s big. Says he suffers from a bad back, and I take great pleasure in ribbing him about it on pretty much a daily basis. Guess it makes me feel better about my own surfing.

Yesterday he received his spanking new custom surfboard that he’s been waiting on for about 5 months now – a 6’3 JC Hawaii Shane Dorian model – so a shred was always on the cards. At lunch we met at my place, he inserted fins, laid down a tailpad, waxed up that puppy and we were out the door.

Turns out it was kind of pumping and sure enough he started to have those dreaded second thoughts of his as we limbered down the beach. Thoughts that my amped, over-excited surf stoke wasn’t going to hear any of. “Nah, what you talking about, it’s not even big. Don’t be a pussy. Come on, we’re straight out there," I scoffed, sprinting in and paddled out to the line-up as fast as my arms would carry me.

Well, I got to the peak right as a set rolled in. My mate was still on the beach (having third and fourth thoughts) and my next-door neighbour, who’d also showed up for the sesh was paddling out behind. I let the first couple go, trying to regain some energy. Then this sick one came and I had to go, started scratching for it…

When I surfaced my lungs felt like they were about to explode. I had just enough time to glimpse my next-door neighbour in the channel in a fit of hysterics before taking the next one on the head. I came up again, all confused and disoriented, he screamed something I couldn’t make out. That’s when I noticed my cherished 6’4 Al Merrick was now closer to something like a 3’2. "Aaarrrggghhhh noooooooo!!!"

You know what I said about it not being that big, Huey? I take it back.