"Hey man, wake up! It's windy in the bay!"
"Bruh... I'm tired. We've been out every day for the last ten days... Gonna sit this one out."
"C'mon, you got one more lap in you! We'll just do technique surfing... not go hard at all man."
"Fine. What time?"
"Well it'll be windy all day... but wow, look at the forecast for 6am."
"Great. Pumping right?"
"Better text the guys, see who else will come. Or we don't go."
"Already did. Clement and Olney are both down. Bet Nelson will come too."
I've had this conversation with myself and my fellow downwind junkies every day, for the last twenty plus days. We've had an unusually windy stretch, even by Bellingham standards. And that has meant day after day after day of ideal conditions. Wind to 20. Then 30. Then 25 and back again. Warm air and clear skies contrast the flat daze of the local paddlers who are just stoked out. We keep coming back like the Pavlovian dogs we are. Only the bowl is never empty. Lap lap lap. More laps!
The result is ruinous. I'm becoming decidedly snobbish in my outlook on conditions, but always after I get off the water. "That was pretty good man. Pretty good. But not as good as yesterday. Yesterday was all time." Before I get on the water, I only see whitecaps and potential for ace rides all the way from Bellingham to Valhalla. Glory awaits. "Grab the spears Chief!"
Surfing downwind is nothing short of art for adrenaline junkies who like to run with sharp objects. You know the type. Growing up, we were the ones who sniffed glue and ate our crayons after coloring on the walls and bellowing "SPARTAAAA!!!!" at the teacher. For a relatively new surfski paddler like myself the learning curve has been a cliff that I fail upwards. Just keeping up with some of the local legends is a life goal. Even if they are merely three decades your senior. I'm not sure how they do it. But I've noticed there is a difference between those who settle for bucket lists and those make bucket time.