Can We Talk About Leash Toe?
Only a surfer knows this borderline suicidal feeling.
It’s happening. A set wave is coming your way. After two hours of picking away at inside scraps, you’re finally getting that sought after wave of the day. It’s breaking a little bit further outside than previous waves. You just floated to that spot unknowingly, daydreaming about what it would be like to have a floating bar in the lineup. Everyone sitting too far inside thinks you’re smart. Might as well leave after this one. Any witnesses are gonna paddle on top of you, because your wave knowledge is superior, and this definitely wasn’t a fluke.
Look right. Look left. No threats detected. It’s all yours. Sure there’s shoulder guy. No, shoulder guy isn’t a conjoined twin. He’s the asshole who sits on the shoulder pretending not to see you till the last second. Ya know, paddles enough to fuck up the lip, but doesn’t actually take-off. He’s manageable—a simple “YEW” should suffice. It’s the more socially acceptable phrase for “Hey buddy, fuck off.”
Showtime. We’re moving. Eyes are locked down the line. Same old same old, pop up and go. But something feels funny. Front foot is fine. Back foot, not so much. Leash toe. In the time you spent worrying about non-consensual party waves, your leash coiled itself around that big toe like it was John Voight in Anaconda. Lift and shake. Doesn’t work. You’re fucked. Wrapped toe, off-balance, and just casually cruising past the section you dream about at work every day.
Kick out and yell. Yell like a fucking spartan warrior throwing his last spear. Yell like Karen when asked to follow simple directions for public safety. Yell like girls at a bar when Mr. Brightside comes on. Underwater of course, it’s 8am. Don’t wanna wake up the meth heads under the pier.
Paddle back out, make sure all your buddies know it wasn’t your fault. You were going to rip that wave a new one. Big hack, blow tail, maybe even air the end section. But you didn’t. Not because of your surfing mediocrity. Not because of your below-average physical condition and slight hangover. Because of Leash Toe.
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