Little Timmy loves to surf. He’s desperate to go on a surf trip. I spoke to him about his plans, and tried to point the little fella in the right direction.
‘Hmmm, magicseaweed.com is predicting a 10ft swell, at 25 second intervals, in ten days time. I’m there.’
No, Timmy, that’s what we call a schoolboy error. Everyone knows that long range forecasts predict good stuff, only for it to magically become one foot onshore junk in time for the more reliable three day prediction.
‘I love Kelly and Taj and Parko. I’m going to go on a trip to Huntingdon at the same time as the WCT so I can surf with my hero’s’.
Sorry Timmy, but Kelly, Taj and Parko don’t want to surf with you. What’s more, 42 of their fellow bro’s, each with 3 of their own bros, a load of industry bros and some of their bros will be there, and they don’t want to play either. Yes the sea is big. But at contest time, it’s not that big, and you’re not going to get a single wave.
‘I saw a pretty picture of a wave called Pipeline. It looks fun, fun, fun.’
Timmy, remember how I told you the pros were mean? Well Hawaiians are a cut above. If you go there, you won’t get a wave. Even if you do, Pipe isn’t a fluffy bunny. When you get licked at third reef, you’ll probably wish the Hawaiians got to you first. Remember, poster waves attract the crowds to match.
‘One break is all I need.’
Variety is king, Timothy. Traveling to a place with only one break means that you’ve drastically reduced your chances of glory. You’re on a surf trip right? Well then, head somewhere with a pile of breaks that work in different conditions. Your time in the water will increase, as will the amount of fun you have.
‘Research is something you do at school.’
Listen up, Kid. We just established that time in the water is the name of the game here. By turning up somewhere and having to work everything out from scratch you’re minimizing this. Work out which breaks work on which swells. Find some possible places to stay. Know how to get to them from the airport. Time spent planning is time saved when it really counts.
‘The people at the leading airlines are wonderful. They won’t mind if I turn up with a board or two will they?’
Timmy, most airlines hate surfboards. They’d prefer it if you rocked up with Osama Bin Laden in tow than with a bag full of sticks. Call them before you book to make sure they’ll accept your precious cargo. And place a cheeky foot under the end of your board bag when it’s getting weighed to save yourself $ $ $ ‘s in excess baggage.
‘I’m American. When I go abroad those foreign types will speak my language right?’
Travel is all about learning. Be open minded Timmo. Learn a few words. Take on board the different ways in which people live and you’ll get respect back, both in the lineup and from the people you meet day to day. Observe local customs and traditions, and don’t be afraid to give things a go.
‘I love my 6’6 soooo much. It’s all I’m ever going to need’
Timmy, boards are made from nothing stronger than some foam and a few layers of fiberglass. If you so much as look at a board the wrong way you might just snap it. Invest in a quiver. Sitting out good waves because you bust your only board is quite possibly the definition of grief
‘I’m the strongest little boy I know. I’ll never get hurt.’
I’m stoked for you bud. But here’s the kicker- landing head first on coral in Indo might change this. The USA has a pretty solid health set up, but different countries have different standards. Health insurance will really help you out if you get cleaned up. It happens to the best of us, Timmy, so there’s every chance it’ll happen to you too. A basic first aid kit is also a must. Clean those reef cuts when you get them; it’ll save you from grief in the long run.
‘My pop told me that a trip isn’t a trip unless you get on a plane’
Wrong again. Piling into a car with your mates, a few tents and a load of boards can be just as rewarding as any trip abroad. It’s the spirit of adventure that counts bud. That and scoring some pumping surf.
You may have realized that Little Timmy isn’t real by now. I mean, honestly, whose first name is Little? But there are plenty of Little Timmy’s out there folks. Don’t be one yourself. Follow these words of wisdom and get more from your time in the water and your experiences on the shore.
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