Toonalook Point Australia’s Most Psychologically Harmful Wave

Ding Alley
Ding Alley

FRIDAY – According to a university study published today, Toonalook Point has pipped the Gold Coast’s Burleigh Heads, The Pass in Byron Bay, and Torquay’s Bird Rock as the place most conducive to have a complete nervous breakdown while surfing.

Conducted at 70 surf breaks over two years, this expansive survey documented the demeanour of over 5,000 surfers, and concluded that the totemic hierarchy of Toona’s pecking order, the febrile nature of wide-eyed visitors, the cannibalistic savagery of the scavengers and bottom feeders, and the fact that the scene appears deceptively beguiling from land, all combine to make Toona Point – in particular the inside section on a high tide and an inconsistent south east swell – a ‘mental-health time bomb waiting to explode’, according to one researcher.



“This report makes for grim reading,” says noted Toonalook psychologist Dr Petra Mills. “Unless you were born in the Toona National Park, or you're a top 32 level pro, or just a remorselessly cunning human, you really are taking your mental well-being into risky territory spending more than an hour a day surfing this place. 

“Human factors aside, much of the damage is done by the waves themselves – specimens of heartbreaking beauty that will fool you into believing that you might actually catch and ride a number of them yourself.

“It's too much to expect the human psyche to withstand this constant cycle of promise and deprivation.”

A survey-high 67 percent of surfers in the study showed signs of distress within 15 minutes of paddling out into the Toona lineup, with the severity of the symptoms increasing greatly between 7.00am and 8.00am, and more than doubling when respondents had to find that elusive “good one to go in on” as domestic and work commitments became increasingly pressing. 

Indeed, vocalising the intention of securing a satisfactory final ride has been identified as a reliable indicator of psychosis.

The discovery of such a potent vehicle for dirty dopamine double-crossing has caught the attention of military and intelligence operatives both here and overseas, lead researcher Dr Dave Livingstone from the University of Sydney tells Ding Alley.

“As global tensions rise, there are a number of agencies keen to explore options to weaponise Toona Point’s psychological impact. 

“With the U.S imploding like a slow-motion train wreck, Australia will need to develop autonomous strategies to secure its place in this volatile new world order. ASIO is looking to somehow harness Toona Point’s spectacular promise/withhold effect on those who would seek to do us harm.

“Modelling shows that if the CIA had access to this data a decade or so ago they could have brought the War on Terror to a swift and dramatic end: Simply train terror suspects in the fundamentals of surfing over an intense three week period, then send them out to The Point on a Sunday morning with the promise of a set wave for every ISIS bomb plot or Al-Qaeda hideout revealed.”

“I’m no expert in military law, but I’m fairly sure this would not only contravene every article in the Geneva Convention, and it’s a safe bet that rogue operatives like Barry Cornell would make what went on at Abu Ghraib look like a Sunday School picnic.”

Psychologist Dr Petra Mills concurs. “The irony of all this is that surfing is seen as a release, an escape from pressure, whereas in terms of causing normally well-adjusted, competent surfers to lose their shit, Toona Point amounts to a perfect storm.”

And in findings that will shock no-one: the study confirms the widely-held understanding that in broad regional terms, Gold Coast and Northern NSW pointbreaks are collectively more likely to trigger complete mental collapse than any other surfing zone in Australia – despite the Superbank throwing statistical anomalies into the data.

“We’d assumed Snapper through Greenmount would wreak total havoc with our subjects’ ability to process even the most basic emotions in a healthy and productive way, but such is the nature of the Superbank that surfers are resigned to having a shit time before they even paddle out,” notes Livingstone. “A striking number of respondents described themselves as feeling ‘dead inside’ before waxing up or even finding a carpark. Here we see pre-emptive despondency as an effective defence mechanism shielding a surfer from the futile expectation that lays the ground for destructive grief.”

“As eastern philosophy teaches us, ‘hope’ – as in childishly wishing for things that are not – is foolish and should not be indulged in: therefore when we gaze out at 400 surfers in the Coolangatta lineup, we are, in effect, seeing 400 Buddhas on the cushion, all in different stages of awakening, surrender and growth. It’s really quite beautiful.”

More conventional no-go areas include Newport Peak, with Livingstone commenting “Stress levels among respondents skyrocketed when one or both Carroll brothers were known to be in the area. They didn’t even have to be in the water.” 

And though the study focussed on Australia’s East Coast, WA’s Trigg and North Point featured heavily in anecdotal reports: Trigg for the Benny Hill chase-scene antics in half-to-one foot surf, and North Point for Alpha surfers coming to blows over etiquette among double overhead bombs. Neither scenario conducive to sustained wellbeing.

An anonymous beach on Victoria's West Coast also polled highly as a mental minefield. “Despite the occasional reform left hander known as Ding Alley breaking into the rocks at the west end for about 20 minutes of optimum tide, the unceasing closeouts are water torture for anyone looking to go any way other than straight to the beach.” says an increasingly bitter sounding Livingstone, who may have tampered with the data to reflect his own surfing experience. 

// DING ALLEY

DING ALLEY is illustrator David @maccatoons McArthur and wannabe writerer Gra Murdoch. Ahhhh, to be clear, Toonalook is an imaginary surf town, inspired by all the locations these two have lived and surfed at without distinction.

Comments

sangsta's picture
sangsta's picture
sangsta commented Thursday, 23 Jul 2020 at 4:18pm

I love these works of art. Thanks guys! That final wave syndrome (FWS as the experts call it) is very relatable.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Thursday, 23 Jul 2020 at 4:53pm

Ding Alley - gents, pls refer today's swellnet post on Derek Hynd... stimuli? Could DH visit Toona? What would unfold

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Thursday, 23 Jul 2020 at 5:05pm

Haha, mate to be honest I wouldn't be comfy writing DH hits Toona: apart from satirising the odd supremely powerful figurehead, Me and Macca prefer Ding Alley to deal in broad archetypes. Maybe there might be a bit of DH in some brilliant/eclectic character down the track? Or better still it'd be ace, (assuming he could be arsed of course) if he wrote about a visit himself.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Thursday, 23 Jul 2020 at 5:48pm

Your call of course - broad stereotypes, probably a good call - keep em coming whichever way tickles your fancy - seems I'm not the only one enjoying them.

Erik Logan...'supremely powerful figurehead' then ... maybe, I guess - or the puppet, rather than the puppeteer... either way Gra - thanks mate, n good luck

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 23 Jul 2020 at 5:26pm

Is there a propitious angle to this?

For example, many years ago I paddled out at Burleigh after work (I worked in a Gold Coast nightclub bar when i was at university) it was barely light and there was only a couple out. The surf was good. Around 6:00 am the crowd started to thicken but I'd already jagged a few keepers and it was cone time. On my last wave, some young smart-arse blatantly dropped in on me but instead of it panning out the way he thought it was gonna, we bottomed turned at the same time except I was lower on the wave. In that instant I cracked him square in the back of the head and he face planted head first into the wave face and got worked as I continued down the line, got a little head-dip and floated the end section to belly it into the beach.

An hour later, as I'm drifting off into my stoney sleep- I was still giggling.

1173

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 5:41pm

Nice drop in story, love it! I have so many, but I like two I will share which are light in nature; no carnage although I do have carnage tales as well I won’t go into them now. One time I got more than my fair share of good bombs and then a really good one came right to me again, but one of my local comrades, a very good surfer who thought I’d had too many good waves, dropped in on me. It was around 6ftish and I kind of shrugged my shoulders on the drop and took it philosophically - but I decided to stay on the wave but kind of keep out of his way - fairs fair it was his wave, his turn, but I went along for the ride and stuck deep in the pocket and just watched him unload on this wave; deep bottom turns, off the tops and all sorts of radical turns sort of with me out of his way. It’s a fast down the line wave, so we get around two thirds of the way down and I’m stalling in the pocket, then the whole thing just doubles up and barrels right round me. Haha, I stood in it deep for a few seconds and came out clean and I was just laughing because it was so awesome, and so unplanned and even totally undesired. I was really just enjoying watching him rip. So I love that one. The other one I was at one of my local breaks and some kook kept hassling me and snaking etc. so I decided I’d had enough and just burnt him on the next wave. It was a hard wave to make as it had a section closing in front of me and I wasn’t sure I could get around it. The guy came up from behind me yelling and pushed me in the back- This made him fall off but it was the perfect push with the perfect timing to give me that little bit of extra speed around the section and my board was even angled perfectly, so I just flew around the section laughing out aloud!! Unexpected but just the perfect thing and pure laughter material...

Barrelrider

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Thursday, 23 Jul 2020 at 5:59pm

“A striking number of respondents described themselves as feeling ‘dead inside’ before waxing up or even finding a carpark."
hahaha... and...
"therefore when we gaze out at 400 surfers in the Coolangatta lineup, we are, in effect, seeing 400 Buddhas on the cushion, all in different stages of awakening, surrender and growth. It’s really quite beautiful.”
Far out this cracked me up to no end. So true. haha. Thanks for the gold!!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 9:38am

After refashioning bluediamond's paraphrase.
tbb reimagines same wavelength priority.
Now to dust this Buddah Stick ash from tbb's Lotus.

bluediamond is right...Toon's Gold leads us astray!

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 7:09am

I often wonder why people put themselves through that kind of thing. I don’t care how good the waves are, when it’s as crowded as a place like Snapper gets I just can’t figure out how it’s possible to have a good time; unless you are a pro surfer and you have a free pass to paddle inside and burn people.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 8:04am

My guess is:

a) FOMO
b) delusion they will get that 'one' wave and this will cancel out all the frustration, anxiety, anger and bad vibes that preceded that one
c) lack of imagination, knowledge or drive to seek out greener pastures
d) inability to surf less perfect, lesser quality, less predictable and often times bigger / more challenging spots elsewhere
e) herd mentality

Just a few thoughts anyway

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 8:20am

My guess is it's like playing the pokies. There's just enough reward to keep you coming back with the chance of getting that one decent payout.

1173

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 8:24am

brilliant analogy that.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 10:45am

Intermittent reinforcement. More effective than continuous reinforcement.

https://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Intermittent%20Rei...

Yendor's picture
Yendor's picture
Yendor commented Sunday, 26 Jul 2020 at 1:52pm

That theory applies pretty squarely to the whole addictive nature of surfing. I've often thought it's why we all get hooked.. The great number of fruitless average surf missions with the occasional gold. Also why those fickle spots that only turn on sporadically so get under our skin. I can think of one particular spot that's a pain to get to, and has a hit rate of probably 15 percent or less. It's just got too many variables for any of us to ever feel confident of calling it, but I still check it all the time, hoping for one of those magic sessions

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 8:25am

I wonder about the crew who are born and raised there, who surf it every arvo after work.

Do they still know people amongst the hordes, recognise friendly faces, able to have a chat and blow off steam after the daily grind? Can the Superbank serve this community purpose?

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 10:04am

To answer this directly. Yes -it's like a monthly/bi-monthly rotation, weekly if you're lucky -always see and hang with the same (loose but tight) crew -have a laugh, form groups/packs to ensure everyone gets a wave.

Recently went back (home) after being away for a year, instantly recognised almost everyone -have a chat, smile, get a ten second barrel. No worries kent ;-)

The beauty about the superbank is the consistency and high skill level of surfers. If you focus on the crowd and frenetic fury, you'll have a bad time. But, spend time talking to people, form a group, block the greedy punters and everyone gets a good wave. Many times I've said to friends "no way, there's too many out there", had my arm twisted, paddle out, have a rip roaring time!

It's most organised when the local pros are in the water -they keep the lineup in check -like elders or an authority. Making friends with/talking to those guys is a secret pass to the looooong inside crystal vortexes. Stick next to (talk with) Slater and you'll get every second best wave! Which ain't bad in a crowd of 200.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 11:37am

Agree about the focus. Whenever I paddle out there I figure the worst case scenario is that I'll have a paddle and drift down a nice headland with a nice view in balmy water and see a few barrels. Always end up getting at least 2 or 3 good long waves, quite often more than that. Some of the waves out there are mind-bending.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 1:04pm

I can't feel sorry for surfers on the Gold Coast. If you expect to paddle to the outside take off at Snapper and have fun you are either a fool or super fit and talented. But if you avoid that option there are so many miles of beach break there with no, or sparse, crowds if you look or walk a bit up from the car park. Amongst even the super popular points there are plenty of gaps on the long shifty line ups to allow most to snag a few.

Crowd issues are not just a matter of numbers in the water or the size of the latent surfing population. They also relate to the spots themselves. Some focus the crowd and some do not. Even a super suburban Manly Beach in Sydney often looks okay for crowds due to its length and peak randomness.

Whereas, around Australia, many much lesser known breaks can be a pain to surf if they have tight take off zones and short rides. Even the little known Toonalook Point sounds frustrating.

Beach breaks are one answer. There are lots and lots of them with no crowds.

North NSW has some particularly empty ones at the moment....

Frogg

original smith's picture
original smith's picture
original smith commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 8:37am

In one drop of Toonalook water are found all the secrets of the oceans. — Buddah

cgrover's picture
cgrover's picture
cgrover commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 8:43am

The writer clearly has experience at the Middleton Point in SA wave, which is neither a point or a wave most of the time.

wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas's picture
wiseautogas commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 8:46am

right on cameron the wave that almost isnt

john wise

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 11:15am

So true. Promises the world, delivers eff-all more often than not.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

drodders's picture
drodders's picture
drodders commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 9:28am

That was fantastic!

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 9:53am

There's some gold in here:
" therefore when we gaze out at 400 surfers in the Coolangatta lineup, we are, in effect, seeing 400 Buddhas on the cushion, all in different stages of awakening, surrender and growth. It’s really quite beautiful.”
"Stress levels among respondents skyrocketed when one or both Carroll brothers were known to be in the area"
"who may have tampered with the data to reflect his own surfing experience"
Enlightenment is not far from here....

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 9:59am

Sadly, it is not the soul nurturing observations of the rhythms of weather systems, tides, sandbanks and winds that dominate my surfing decisions. Instead it is crowd estimations and working out the expected balance between pleasure and degrees of frustration at whichever spot I am considering.
Classic statement is:
“A striking number of respondents described themselves as feeling ‘dead inside’ before waxing up or even finding a carpark. Here we see pre-emptive despondency as an effective defence mechanism shielding a surfer from the futile expectation that lays the ground for destructive grief.”

Even in the far off wave rich Mentawais I have held off getting excited until I am actually in the line up and can see no speed boats or Charter Boats on the horizon.

So much for the Morning-of-the-Earth type dreamy peak experience that our pass time is supposed to deliver...

Staying home is often a sound decision.

Frogg

gearoid's picture
gearoid's picture
gearoid commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 10:03am

I believe John Cleese said it first:
It's not the despair that kills you, it's the hope

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020 at 10:39am

I like it. :-)

Any idiot can face a crisis, it’s the day to day living that wears you out. (Chekhov)

juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 10:45am

I live on the GC. I used to often avoid the points because of the crowds. Surfing IMO is at it's most fun when it's only you or you and a few mates out and gets worse the further away it drifts from that. Getting snaked when the set's roll in, flying boards, people that don't even try and get out of your way and even getting abused by kids without hair on their balls! Hard pass.

Post COVID even the beachies are packed to the point of not much fun. My life maxim is "If you don't like something, change it and if you can't change it, deal with it." These days I don't expect to have many good sessions and the overhyping of south swells makes the crowds worse (Swellnet putting up a video of the latest swell called east x south east!! More like S x SSSE.) I don't buy the argument that cams bring more crowds but the never ending hype? This adds to my and I imagine other peoples FOMO.

But, I still try and milk the fun out of it. It's easier to practise new stuff because you don't really care about 'blowing the wave'. Going to harder places to surf which means less waves of lesser quality, weird rips and sweeps but the serenity and trying to figure out the ocean is never time wasted. Not to mention the fitness and psychological benefits.

I'm travelling around Australia next year for 1-2 years and then maybe to NZ and finally into Central America. I just wanna find somewhere with good, not even great, consistent waves, without a crowd, like the old guys go on about.

The alternative isn't tenable.

EDIT: Oh, I nearly forgot. Don't even get me started on the SUP and foil board riders that obviously have no respect for anyone else. Fuck those guys. Not that I'm saying that they can't use them, but maybe take your foil board away from people because A) They catch anything. You probably don't need to ride them at Currumbin, Burleigh or anywhere else that's crowded with shortboarders. B) They're fucking dangerous to everyone else, all so you can self-cherish. C) No-one thinks it's cool. No-one.

As for the SUP riders, if you want to surf, then get a surfboard. If you want to SUP, then go SUP-ing away from surfers.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 11:36am

"I just wanna find somewhere with good, not even great, consistent waves, without a crowd, like the old guys go on about" - that's an easy one: Chile, Peru, most of Aus have great and empty waves! you're actually going to want to see people in the water once you've surfed alone for weeks on end...

juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 1:53pm

Yeah. I spent 6 months in Peru, it was awesome. The only bad thing was every wave was a left!

I can't wait to checkout the rest of Aus, only 1 more year of work and then travel time.

jordanddisch's picture
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jordanddisch commented Sunday, 26 Jul 2020 at 8:14am

Lived in Costa for 4 years. Super consistent and warm water. You surf more and get better faster. And your only a hop skip away from Nica, El Salvador and Mexico. Even when crowded it’s so consistent that you will at least get 10+ quality waves in a 2 hour sesh. Def worth it.

juegasiempre's picture
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juegasiempre commented Thursday, 30 Jul 2020 at 6:56am

Yeah, the loose plan is to travel Oz and NZ starting from next year and then settling somewhere between Mexico and Nica after that. Costa Rica is expensive compared to the neighbours. My missus is from Argentina so she's onboard and we nearly have enough money saved. The priority was Nica but while Ortega is still in power, I don't think we'll settle there. It's looking more like Mexico atm but things are rapidly chaining on a global scale, so who knows?

What were you doing in Costa Rica besides surfing awesome waves in a beautiful country? Why did you leave? Any broad recommendations for surf as we'll be travelling the whole of Central America and if a place looks good, we might stay there indefinitely. I've already travelled through Central America for a year but my priorities were different back then (think partying; hard) and my Spanish is conversational. I've also done a year in South America surfing whilst I was in countries conducive to it and it was awesome, but it was slightly more expensive than Central America, cold water and I surf better backside to this day cause of 6 months in Peru surfing! You would think living on the Gold Coast would overcome that, but no. I need some time on los derechos latinos.

Feel free to PM me if you don't want to share publicly. Thanks!

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 10:49am

"Trigg for the Benny Hill chase-scene antics in half-to-one foot surf..."

Nailed it. The surfcam should have the theme music running underneath it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WShMzwT-nM

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 5:19pm

"Vocalising the intention of securing a satisfactory final ride has been identified as a reliable indicator of psychosis."

Never a truer word was written. There's no better way of spending an hour without a wave than boldly stating you're "just going to catch one in".

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 2:06pm

And how often does the ocean just go flat as soon as you say that!

He who hesitates is lost

mowgli's picture
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mowgli commented Sunday, 26 Jul 2020 at 10:08am

..and then to add (sea)salt to injury, you decide you can't wait any longer and begin the paddle in, only to fall prey to the glance back once you're halfway in and see a set coming through RIGHT WHERE YOU WERE just 60 second ago.

oh the agony.

nah....yeah...but, nah

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Sunday, 26 Jul 2020 at 2:31pm

From my experience, if you even so much as think about getting the next one in, you're buggered. Always better to spring those decisions on Huey than give a heads up.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020 at 10:45am

Have learnt that from bitter experience ages ago. I am a zen master of not even thinking “just one more”. I make that decision as I’m getting close to the beach on the end of a wave.

A mate and I call the paddle in because you can’t find a wave “the paddle of shame”.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020 at 11:25am

But then your last one is a good one, so you paddle back out for another!!!

Botak

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Thursday, 30 Jul 2020 at 1:46pm

Haha, that's what we call it too. Haven't done it for at least a week....

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 4:24pm

Classic stuff fellas. Cheers!

"Trigg for the Benny Hill chase-scene antics in half-to-one foot surf..." Haha!

Rooftop - Nailed it. The surfcam should have the theme music running underneath it.

So appropriate Rooftop.....

Pristine

ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent commented Saturday, 25 Jul 2020 at 10:13am

Yes , surfed Trigg way back & even then it was a total joke. The intensity of the "locals " in 1ft slop, and you've just been surfing Margies or Cobbles with a few guys out & great ettiquet. Big belly laughs!.

Tristan Goose's picture
Tristan Goose's picture
Tristan Goose commented Saturday, 25 Jul 2020 at 8:45pm

all too real after my surf at noosa this arvo

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020 at 3:40pm

sah Noosa

nah....yeah...but, nah

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Sunday, 26 Jul 2020 at 10:15am

If only Dostoevsky was a surfer, what a piece of literature that would be.

Hemingway would do a good job too. No doubt easier to read/get through.

Told from a Boomer's perspective. One that flirted with surfing as a uni student. Got back into it in retirement. It's about the sales job that is a modern economy. Here's the dream. Work hard. Flog ya self. Miss your kids lives. Retire. Alcoholic father just died. Pay through the nose for a retirement house. Get divorced. Get into surfing. Join the hordes. Shoulder/spinal issues from office/lawyer life flare up. So many physio visits. They wanna scrap negative gearing!? How come the life doesn't match the brochure? Somebody give Tim Winton a call...

nah....yeah...but, nah

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Monday, 27 Jul 2020 at 11:05am

Ha ha! nice one. Tim Winton would have a field day with that kind of stuff. He'd probably add a bit of sadomasochistic sex to the mix just to spice things up a bit further.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020 at 10:55am

Recently (forcefully) retired here mowgli, (from Rudyard Kipling, sure he could write up a storm about this too)

But I started at 30, got to some sort of level, have had my days but always planned on retiring as early as I could to enjoy some fruitful years at the back end. Didn’t neglect the kids, have stayed reasonably fit, but last 3 years of work sapped my soul somewhat, and 3 months of lockdown and no surfing has seen me lose my water confidence, and 6’ surf and much bigger besides is not the place to build up your water confidence.

I’m sure it will come back to me, but slowly. Looking forward to being out there with confidence and that desire. It would be ironic to have had such a long term plan come to fruition to be beaten back by circumstance and lack of will. Will report back on various forums as to how this pans out.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020 at 11:18am

Very glad to hear it batfink! I'm still shocked at how quickly I can lose surf confidence if I'm out of the water for a month or so. A few decent swells and I look back thinking "jesus I was being a sook".

That's the approach I'm taking/plan to continue with. 40 doesn't seem that far away for me anymore. I've taken note of many of the older men in my life and the "sacrifices" they made. No thanks. I'm prioritising lifestyle and time with kids. #YOLO definitely applies. I've read enough to know a majority of men in recent generations have reached their twilight years where their regrets weren't putting in more hours or earning more money, but not spending enough time with the family, doing the things they enjoy, and taking care of their health. Who knew working 60+ hours per week to keep up with the Jones' and getting a new BMW every 5 years does little for strong cardio-vascular health and family relationships. The way it's been expressed to me is "you can't take your car with you into the next life, and nobody talks about how much overtime you did in your career at your funeral".

nah....yeah...but, nah

Fireblade's picture
Fireblade's picture
Fireblade commented Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020 at 2:20pm

Oh please, don't go breaking my heart.

Have you been told you've got Stage 3B cancer, where depending on the outcome of the surgery and the chemo treatment, the oncologist starts talking about the diminishing probability that you will be alive in 5 years time. As my mate Cosi so eloquently stated: 'death should line up nicely with retirement'.

Nobody asked to be born, and everybody dies... the only contentious issues in life are the actions that you have any control over. This may not be Zen, but to me, there are two choices: cringe in the corner sucking your thumb in the foetal position; or simply get on with it.

Go for a surf.

gavin.delgrosso's picture
gavin.delgrosso's picture
gavin.delgrosso commented Monday, 27 Jul 2020 at 12:16pm

Ding alley, my home break as a grom! Does get good, but don't hold your breath waiting for it....