Subcultures have their own slang. Surfers have a word that describes the deeply satisfying and exhilarating experience of having had a good session or having caught an exceptional wave; ‘stoked’. I wonder if such a thing as a ‘group stoke’ exits – if it does then Zac, Jan, Johanna and I had one today.
Zac and Jan decided that being their last day in Port Fairy they wanted two surfs. So after a breakfast of croissants and hot cross buns still warm from the oven, fresh fruit and easter eggs, we walked over to East Beach. It was nearly 1 o’clock when we collapsed back at the yurt for lunch. After a couple of hours rest we went back again.
We paddled until our arms completely gave up. Perhaps we’ve never caught as many waves in a single day. The offshore winds served up clean face after clean face, and we gorged ourselves on near empty waves. And now, after warm showers and takeaway Chinese for dinner, Zac and Jan on their way back to Melbourne, the 3 of us left are in relative silence in the yurt. Quiet music, the tapping on the keyboards, and occasionally the fan heater kicks in. Johanna is curled up on the bed reading, Maria is putting some photos on a blog (see next post), and me, having done a bit of work correspondence, am also capturing the day in words.
My shoulders and back are sore, but good sore. My whole body is weary, but good weary. Stoked is a good word, and even though it’s surfing slang, it’s too good a word not to use more broadly, as it often is. It’s not about the surfing, it’s about that deep contented exhilaration that comes when you’ve extended yourself and done well. It’s that feeling that you haven’t ‘spent time’, you’ve actually lived. And it can take many forms … today it just happens to have been riding waves.