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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

In Western Kentucky we pride ourselves on a lot of things; cliffs we’ve jumped off, ruts we’ve made in mud, four wheeler trails we’ve pioneered, and how sharp we are with a rifle at a hundred yards.  Surfing is cool, but so is dogsledding, whitewater kayaking or other stuff on tv.  My brother in law Dustin, who is seriously sick at anything involving athleticism and a board (whom I also call “bro”) has made it a mission to get me on some swick waves for some happy days.  (I found these phrases using an online surfing dictionary.)  But, before you can hang ten, you have to learn some basic essentials.  First thing, how to ride on a bike with your board.  I wondered why everybody has chopper handle bars around here, but now I get it.  Also, wax side out.  Wax in the pits sucks, and wax on your ribs is asking for rash.



We got an old board home and took a blowdryer to it, scraping off the old wax and filling in holes with epoxy.  New board wax smells so good that they sell the scent of it in air fresheners, and if you try it you’ll remember your childhood days with Elmer’s paste.  We sanded the epoxy (for maximum speed) and applied new wax, and it was nearing the time for my embarrassment.


bro, and old wax

bro, and old wax


I thought of more questions, like how to treat your board.  Sort of like you’d treat your dog.  Don’t drop it, don’t drag it, and don’t tangle the leash.  Still, carry it wax side out.

new wax (notice the lack of faith in my board walking abilities)

new wax (notice the lack of faith in my board walking abilities)

I had more questions first.

“But what are the variables to consider such as wind and tides?”

“When will I know when to stand or how to get in the wave?”


Dustin said we had to get in the water.  Immediately it started raining; wonderful news, as everyone left and and I now had private beaches to begin my leap from “random stander” (or non surfer).  For a while Dustin taught me proper mechanics of scouting my wave cycles and getting centered correctly on my board.  I was not allowed to try to stand up until I could successfully get into the wave and feel myself “taken” by it.  The waves were bad and so was I.  In thirty minutes the rain had become a lightning storm and the lifeguard whistles blew.  Like any real surfer would, I defiantly found a last wave to ride in, tried to stand up, instantly nose dived, and in knee deep water nearly drowned (rag dolled).  Dustin said, “You caught that one!  Did you feel how it “took” you?”

“Yes, I felt it take me.”

“Now we have to teach you foot placement, because when you stand up it matters what direction the board will take.”

“Yes, we’ll have to learn foot placement.”

As we walked back to the house my stomach felt as if the wax had given it an indian sunburn, my ribs were bruising, my ears were full of water, and my shoulders burned from all the paddling.  But, I knew how to carry my board correctly and I felt like I could actually be a surfer.  We ran home in the rain and Dustin said loosely,

“When you go out early as the sun is rising, and no one is on the beach, perfect waves come in over and over; there’s nothing like it.”

I was going to go out this morning but I’m picking up shifts at Starbucks these days.  When customers try to sweat me I just think, I’ll be on my long board in a minute rippin a doke wave and I don’t need your bum rap.  (Nobody really talks like that, this is still Virginia.)  So take your iced venti upside down triple grande caramel macchiato, before I give you a diddy mow.

coming down

coming down


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