Tourists Love Fly-outs

Tourists Love Fly-outs

“Wow, look at that boy fly off that wave like a damn bird!”

Tourists, poseurs, and “common beachgoers” view surfing in a different way than surfers. These folks love nothing more than a good fly-out or a brutal wipeout. This year on the North Shore, I was walking down the beach past a group of slightly overweight but charming middle Americans as they sat on towels, drank Coca-Colas, ate Doritos, and watched Pipeline on a pretty sizable day. They looked like they were having a great time, and that made me feel good because I was sweating out toxins from the night before and nursing a substantial headache. As I walked by, I glanced out toward Pipe to see Tamayo Perry pull into a beast. I stopped and watched about two feet behind the group of tourists. Tomayo dropped in, stalled hard under the lip, and the wave freight-trained by him and shook the beach as it broke. My jaw dropped as the beastly mouth of the wave barfed out a steamy, white mist of spray, along with a tall, dark Hawai’ian. I uncontrollably yelled out, “Shit!” The tourists turned around and looked at me for a second. They seemed unfazed by Tamayo’s daredevil barrel. Then they frowned at me and my foul mouth and went back to their snacking and soda drinking.

I couldn’t make out who was dropping in on the next one, but the surfer raced out in front of the tube, and as the wave started closing out, he dug into a bottom turn and rocketed straight out the back. His board spun, and his body flailed in the air about ten feet above the lip. One of the Midwestern snackers tried to scream but ended up coughing and choking on a mouthful of Cool Ranch Doritos. After clearing his throat he let out a guttural, “Yeeehaaa!”

I wanted to think he was a lameass for cheering for a fly-out and not for a crazy barrel, but I couldn’t. I actually thought he was cool. He was just an innocent dude from Iowa having a great day watching surfers fly out of giant waves. It made me appreciate the tourists, poseurs, and “commoners” for their childlike innocence when it came to surfing. I think that’s pretty cool.-