Looking back on it, it was undoubtedly a stroke of fate that I ended up living close to Snapper Rocks. I had come to the Gold Coast for reasons other than surf, and I hadn’t even bothered to do any research on any of the waves before I arrived. I really only ended up living in Coolangatta because the rent was decent, my girlfriend was there, and I got lucky (see Pt. III lol).
However, after I got settled and my mind shifted to thoughts other than survival, I finally started paying attention to the surf.
The most obvious omen that there were good waves around the area was the massive poster of Jack Freestone threading a massive drainer pinned up on the side of Kirra Surf Shop, which just so happened to be down the street from my house. The photo was literally taken at the beach right across the street from the surf shop (although it took me a while to put two and two together).
My Slovenian roommates (mostly the Vegan fitness instructor) would constantly complain about how the waves were shit (despite weeks upon weeks of beautiful A frame runners at D-bah). But, if you offered them a little sympathy, they would sometimes start reminiscing about the times when there was good swell. After complaining about how they should have stayed in Indo for another few weeks, stories of perfect double overhead tubes running from Snapper Rocks all the way through Kirra began to surface. Whispers of lines stacked to the horizon, with enough waves to appease the hordes of frothing surfers began to stir and tease my imagination.
I would usually go surfing after hearing these stories. I would almost always pass by Snapper on my way to surf Dbah, and it would always be about ankle high.
I would stare at the waves for a bit, squinting at the ocean in the hope of coaxing the sea to send a good wave through, but that never seemed to work. However, even on the smallest of days, when out of desperation people would whip out their SUP’s in order to catch SOMETHING, it seemed like there was always a little something to ride. But, for the most part, the wait continued. Hilariously, even with the ankle biters, Snapper Rocks was still crowded. My doubts that I would ever see this wave break properly started to grow.
The days wore on, and I slowly started getting fed up with all of the hordes of aggro surfers endlessly dropping in on me at Dbah and my patience started to grow thin.
On the home front, things started to grow complicated as well. My girlfriend was getting busier and busier at work and it was getting more and more difficult to find time to hang out with her. Eventually the tension between us reached a tipping point and we got into an argument. By this time, the girl who I had met in the jungle was almost nonexistent. The lust for life which had come so easily to her when we lived simply in the jungle together, had been buried deep down by the soul crushing responsibilities of “reality.” Ironically, living together in the jungles of Central America felt a thousand times more real than the “reality” of the concrete jungle we now lived in. But of course, imagine how hard it was to try and convince her of that. God, but despite the struggles, I still remember how good she looked in her workout outfit as she stood in the driveway with a big frown on her face. It was torture.
It was at this moment that the swell finally decided to intervene.
I hadn’t even bothered to check the forecast due to the stress she was causing me. But, that next morning, with the renewed vigor to surf that only a fight with your girlfriend can bring you, I woke up to a Gold alert on Surfline. And when I checked the cam on swellnet the Superbank was absolutely cranking. CRANKING. And if you can tell it’s cranking on the trash quality cam feed then you KNOW it’s on.
Within record time my bike was packed. I didn’t even bother to bring anything, I just put my boardies and my rashie on, strapped the board to the rack and hopped on my bike. There were still huge conspicuous gobs of white sun screen lathered on my face but I didn’t care. At that moment all that mattered was the sea.
[to be continued...]