Should’ve Touched Wood by Katey Shearer
The faint memories I have of last summer on the Surf Coast were 1ft child’s play and weeks of relentless onshore wind with only mere ripples to photograph. The devils wind became a regular occurrence, dissecting the ocean, making fellow surf side townships- grumpy- grumpy as an old man sending his soup back to the kitchen.
This summer has been the complete opposite. A whirlwind of the usual summer slump expectation, turned into a long wave chasing feast and photo high. My camera must be feeling somewhat exhausted at this point. Though, I have planted my feet further down wind of Torquay into the timelessness of the Otway’s. A place where the swell is a longboarders delight in summer, and wild for the big wave chasers in winter.
I have had days of surfing three times in the space of eight daylight hours—where my arms turn into noodles and my face overly bleached by the sun. Yes the crowds are like swimming in a supermarket somedays…but everyone is kind and stoked so it never matters.
I’ve had surfs and photo sessions in roaring winds, sunshine and veiled in rain. I’ve had 4ft days, and 3 hour sessions in 2ft log loveliness. I’ve treaded the water for hours non stop just clicking the shutter away. This probably sounds terribly dreamy to you, and it damn well was. No matter the day, there was always a wave and in that, I was entirely grateful for. I guess you know where I’ll be next summer.
(I wrote this 2 weeks ago, and haven’t surfed since. I jinxed my dreamy ‘endless summer’ it seems —for it has been SE winds with a horrid SE swell. Should’ve touched wood…..)