The Four Year Old Barrel Virgin

Sigh… As Day 30 of my #30daysofsurf draws to a close, I find a confession weighing on my heart.  I thought that this month of daily surfing would be just the trick to finally getting barreled.  Alas… it. just. hasn’t. happened.

Stoked Yogi

For surfers, almost every wave is awesome- because surfing is awesome.  The joy we experience, meeting the full power of the ocean as it’s cresting and crashing to shore, is magical.  Each and every wave has something to offer: big waves and small waves, mushy waves and tall waves, steep waves and slow waves, full- moon-lit-glow waves.  Long rides and short rides, big airs and nose dives.  They all have their moments, and their own special days, but nothing compares to a barreling wave.

Barrels.  The holy grail of surfing.

the holy grail.

the holy grail.

The green room.  Getting shacked.   Bowled.  Slotted.  Pitted.  Tubed.

If you are a surfer (or know any surfers) then you know that this is the epitome of experiences in surfing.  Stand around with a group of surfers, and in no time the talk will turn to surf.  Once it does, it will eventually always lead back to the barrels.



Regaling each other with stories of sweet, mellow point breaks gives way to wipeout stories, and after a few gnar-gnar tales, the yarns begin to spin –

Dude, but what about that one time- when we were in Nicaragua?  Do you remember that wave, dude?  I was going down the line, and then I see it stacking, and it jacks up… and bam, dude.  Totally slotted.

– or-

Yeah, brah, when I was in Indo, we were surfing this super crazy mysto reef – like, no one knew about it, but we were cruising in the boat and then all of a sudden we saw this SICK wave coming in and we just grabbed our boards and dove in – and it was pumping, man, it was like, overhead for sure… and my buddy takes off on this set wave and then I see the next one coming, and it’s a BOMB – so I’m paddling for it, and I take off, and drop in and just pull right into this hollow, gaping, feathery tube – and it was so amazing man, there’s nothing like it.  You know?

what dreams are made of

what dreams are made of

“Yeah, dude, I know.”  I say out loud.

No dude, no clue… I can only imagine.

As a surfer, I hear these stories and my imagination goes wild.  I can smell the ocean, hear the crash of the waves, taste the salt and feel it sting my eyes.  My mind surfs right along, dropping in to a steep A-frame and stalling… getting low and watching as a wall of water comes rolling in like a freight train, preparing to throw it’s frothing lip right over my head.  I even have the tube-vision (Thanks to My Eyes Won’t Dry 1-3) and I can barely make out the tropical landscape dotted with palm trees and deserted beach – all I can see is a sweet cocoon of water engulfing me.  All I can hear is the roar of the barrel as it sucks me up, and the whoosh as it spits me out.

The stories are told, and my mind surfs on- devouring these morsels of experience and salivating in anticipation of my own sweet future.

if only it were a little bigger...

if only it were a little bigger…

Because I am a barrel virgin.

I have been surfing now for four years, two months, and ten days.  Precisely.  And yet I still haven’t made it to surfing’s home base.

As the guys talk, I feel like a high school freshman surrounded by seniors.  They are comparing conquests, describing the sordid details of the most pleasurable experience known to man, and all I can do is listen… and dream.  I’m ready for it.  I’ve been waiting so long.   I’ve got my protection!  I’ll wrap myself in a rubber suit and go at it with everything I’ve got.  I just don’t want to be a barrel virgin anymore.



One day, it will be my turn.  One day, mother ocean will decide to pop my barrel cherry.  One day, she will wrap me up in that salty embrace, rile me up, and spit me out- wet, salty, dirty, and happier than I’ve ever been.

I’m ready, Ocean.  Come on and get some.


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