The two young men stood on the bluff, the hoods of their thick sweatshirts pulled over their heads, their arms stiff, pressing both hands deep into the pockets of their faded jeans in an effort to ward off the chill of the morning breeze. The wind blew cold from the inland valley and then offshore to the lines of waves marching in from the North Pacific. It was what they were hoping for.
As so often happened when the sun warmed the earth from inland, the winds would invariably shift to an on shore direction and blow hard enough to destroy any hope the surfers would have of satisfying what became an addiction for both of them.
They were driven to wake early on winter mornings in hopes of standing inside of a fluid green room on nothing more than a sliver of ridged foam covered in fiberglass. Standing up in the tube, the magical and temporary space inside of a large breaking wave where every surfer strives to be.
“How big to do you think it is?” Ajax asked the other surfer standing beside him.
“Five, maybe six feet, it looks clean though. We should get out there before the wind comes up and blows it out,” said Ian as he watched the last wave of the set break and peel around the protection of the cape that jutted out to the north from where they stood.
“No, it’s bigger than that,” Ajax insisted. “Look at how long it takes for them to break. You can almost count the seconds it takes for the lip to crash out into the flat water. I’d say it’s definitely overhead, maybe even bigger. I’m glad I brought my seven-six.”
Ian being shorter than Ajax by a half a head is one of those surfers who for whatever reason is compelled to always say that the waves look smaller than they really are. Ajax knew this about his friend. He knew it was Ian’s way of getting psyched up.
As the waves wrapped around the point, the lines from each swell curved and slowed down conforming to the contour of the sea floor. The offshore wind was just strong enough to blow the tops off each wave in a mist of vapor and spray before breaking in a violent confusion of white frothing salt water. The lines of broken white soup eventually ground themselves into the sand and rocks waiting on the shore.
During the intervals between each set of waves, the offshore winds cleaned up the confusion of frothing water caused by the energy of each breaking wave. The lulls between sets were just long enough for a surfer to paddle out into the line up before another set came through making it impossible to punch through the shore break.
“Come on, let’s go,” said Ian.
Next Week’s Prompt – “Giving”