Stab Magazine | Never Get Skunked Again
440 Views

Never Get Skunked Again

Reasons your next trip maybe shouldn’t involve surfing at all.

style // May 8, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

In roughly twenty-four hours the missus and I board a flight to Bangkok. It’ll be a fun few weeks of debauchery. No schedule, plenty of anonymity. Swanky hotels booked and enough money socked aside to pay for whatever we please. 

We’ll be joined by my brother-in-law, a borderline moron who, knowing this trip was booked, dislocated his knee skateboarding last week; his eleven out of ten smoking hot girlfriend; and two more of my buddies.

Some of us have traveled before. One of them managed to get himself robbed at gunpoint the last time we were in Nicaragua*.

I don’t travel to surf much anymore, and I like it that way. Plenty of warm water and fun waves near my home create a total lack of motivation to search for surf. But there’s more to it than that.

There are no surfers around.

Surfing’s a great hobby but, as a culture, we’re the fucking worst.

Me-first takers, gimme gimme gimme. I’ve listened to Floridian transplants bemoan Central American locals long enough for a lifetime. Been forced to keep my trap shut for just way too long, as the guy down the bar recounts his amazing barrel that, as witnessed, was nothing more than a split second lip clip to the head. Left the water furious on countless occasions after a session spent battling back-paddling Californian nasal twangs. Swallowed my frustration while drunken realtors on holiday proclaim their plans for investment and development in an idyllic jungle haven.

I like my fellow surfers as much as anyone. Which is not very much at all.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YbPQd-2ZgnI

No board bags to lug around.

Flying with surfboards is fucking ridiculous. Big heavy bags, exorbitant fees, the relative likelihood that they’ll get destroyed or lost or left behind by an airline.

I hate packing a board bag, loathe lashing it to the roof of a rental.

But digging through piles of NSP garbage at a rental spot in search of something decent never yields tasty fruit.

While we can hope the various companies popping up that claim access to quality boards might one day work, at the moment locations offering travelers quality options are few and far between, and rarely truly offer a wide range of boards.

(And paying monthly only works if you’re globetrotting on a regular basis. Otherwise it’s a just another recurring credit card charge to pay off, and a reminder of your stasis.)

On a non-surf trip you might actually get laid.

Surf destinations are sausage-fests, the few poor single women present fending off non-stop ham fisted attempts at courting. The traveling male surfer blends into the crowd, matters little, spends his days locked in sexual frustration, between furtive tugs in a cold water shower in the brief moments while their roommate is out.

But a surfer’s status improves as you move away from the sea.

Being a surfer makes you interesting; your broad shoulders make you unique. Your tan and weathered face is rugged and handsome.

Your job as a surf writer makes you a fascinating iconoclast, rather than another overweight hanger-on.

Luring women back to your hotel room gets one thousand times easier—though my wife takes issue with the word “lure,” claims it too predatory, prefers I say “entice,” etc., and though the words are synonyms with slightly different implications, if we were being totally honest we’d probably say “entrap.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zUnhfvGdmmw

You can drink as much as you want.

An après-surf adult beverage is an amazing end to the day. When you’re young you can skull a dozen-plus and wake up bright and bushy tailed. But as the years add up and your liver ceases to function as well as it once did, you’ve no option but to plan for the future. If you’re surfing anytime before noon, you’ve gotta pump the brakes after three or four. Waking up to firing barrels, a roiling stomach, and splitting headache is a recipe for frustration and wasted opportunity.

When surf’s not on the menu, the problem goes out the window. Sleep in, wake up late, dip into the candy bag with your coffee.

Have a late breakfast, crack an early beer. Stumble around in a haze until your brain starts to fire and your dexterity begins to function. Scrub last night’s debauchery from your body and begin anew.

My wife makes me.

The wife don’t surf, and I like it that way. The few sessions she’s tagged along for over the last two decades have been awash in fearfulness and kookery the likes of which the world rarely sees.

“I don’t want to put wax on the board. It hurts my stomach.”

“Will you paddle the board out for me?”

“Why did you make me catch that wave? It’s your fault I fell.”

Surf trips are for the boys.

When the wife comes along you’ve gotta make other plans. “Surf all day, I don’t care,” means anything but, and skipping out on boring cultural excursions because the ocean’s on fire earns a days-long cold shoulder.

But it’s no big deal. She’s my best friend, we don’t spend nearly enough time together. I can scratch my itch when she’s not around, and focus on the hotel room humping that inevitably results from copious, vacation-level amounts of intoxicants we’ll use to poison our collective spirits.

*You can tell a man the hard truth, that there are in fact no strip clubs in San Juan del Sur, and that leaving the bar to wander alleys in search of one is a stupid idea. But when they’ve got a belly full of valium and booze, maybe it’s a lesson they need to learn for themselves.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022

Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”

"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…

Aug 8, 2022

Zeke Lau & Bettylou Sakura Johnson Win The Vans US Open Of Surfing 

Hawaii dominates HB.

Aug 8, 2022

How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months

Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.

Aug 7, 2022

5:50

Sweeter Than Stolen Honey 

A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.

Aug 7, 2022

15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event

And Clay Marzo takes the dub.

Aug 6, 2022

Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way? 

The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.

Aug 6, 2022

The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together  

Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.

Aug 6, 2022

9:03

Everyone’s Local Zone Has A Mythical Wave

Kai Lenny, Imaikalani DeVault, Eli Hanneman and friends get to surf theirs.

Aug 5, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Harry Bryant Vs. The Wedge

A lot of swell, stolen identities, surf masochists, mutilated noses, The Wedge, skull-crushing pylons, and…

Aug 5, 2022

When Gabby And Kolohe Pull Out, The Hog Pulls In

Tahiti wildcards named.

Aug 5, 2022

First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards

Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning's Maldivian quiver ?

Aug 4, 2022

How Boardshorts Work

They are your one chance to look cool while actually surfing. Don’t blow it.

Aug 4, 2022

A Surf/Snow/Music Fez In The Heart Of Melbourne 

URBNSURF is throwing an action-sports/live music DOOF this month and Stab Premium members are getting…

Aug 4, 2022

Peace, Love, And Mung Beans: 7 Things I Learned From Mick Fanning

Ranging from surf travel hacks to philosophy to jingle lyrics.

Aug 2, 2022

The Three Million Dollar Chinese Storm

500 board orders, coaching armies, and trips around the world — here's how China’s Olympic…

Aug 1, 2022
Advertisement