The pandemic and the lockdown had, so far, caused little disruption in my life. Yes, that's how privileged I am. Luckily, no one in my 'bubble' (to use Jacinda Ardern's formulation) has been overtly ill and we've gone along doing our usual things, socially isolated as we always are. We are gradually expanding our bubble following Ms. Ardern's plan - as she seems the most sane of any national leaders I follow - as I can discern no plan from our orange gibbon president or his administration except gaslighting, distraction, creating strawmen, shifting blame, and refusing to accept any responsibility at all.
But, today, the severity of the crisis penetrated my privileged existence. I was down at the beach at sunrise to catch an early surf session. The waves were poor - a bumpy waist to chest-high swell with falling tide and SE winds. After pulling my board out of the van, I reached for the wax and grabbed a quarter-sixed nubbin. I looked further, pawing through my box of gear. Nothing. Shit. Down to my last piece of wax.
(Also, my spring suit is falling apart. The 15 tear old O'Neill needs to be replaced but that's not urgent as the water is up to 75+° already.) Of course, surf shops are considered non-essential, but the governor clearly didn't consult me or any of the regular crew about that. None are open. I called around - no answers.
Back in the day, like '65, Reid and I would prepare for the summer surf season once the water got to 55° or so. We would pull down our boards, sit them in the sun, and scrape the old wax off. Then, we would get blocks of Gulf (the old petroleum company) wax from the Fuel and Feed, melt them in a pan. and pour a new thick wax layer for the season. BTW, I had a 9'7" Jacobs "Lance Carson" pintail, clear with 3 redwood stringers. I was all of 4 and a half feet and probably weighed 70 lbs dripping wet. The board weighed as much as I did, if not more. Still, I loved that board. It was such a cruiser - well, maybe more like a aircraft carrier or battleship - that I could catch almost any ripple, walk to the nose, and cruise. Did I tell you I loved that board? I'm ashamed to reveal that in the late 60s when short boards became the rage, Reid and I stripped the fiberglass off and cut the blank down to a 5' 6" piece of crap. Just another stupid decision from the past, among many, that I still think of when I lay awake at night beating myself up. What a moron! But, yeah, par for the course.
Anyway, I checked the Ace store near my house and they didn't have Gulf or any other wax. I'm sure I can find it in a larger store that carries canning supplies. Or, maybe, I could use candle wax from a craft store. Or, maybe, the little piece of wax will be enough. Summer's almost here and that usually means a prolonged flat spell. I hope it's not a portent.
Posted by Gordon, No Hair Blog, May 2, 2020
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