The overture was the only real Kirra wave ridden today and the underscore was the less than 10 point ride given to Steph Gilmore for negotiating it. Sad facts need to be put on the table and facts they are. Kirra in the post sand pumping era is a sad and closed-out shadow of her former self and the decision to run there today, in particular by eschewing overhead and clean peelers yesterday was a miscalculation of monumental proportions. A dead-set and bona fide fuck up.
The problem with Kirra, and we will delve at length into this man-made tragedy in another post, is the shortening of the Big Groyne and the over-supply of sand have squared up the sandbar to the point where most waves close-out. The wave can’t slow up and bend around an angled sandbank. It just runs flat across the too straight bank. Thats the tragedy despite the tube-riding images which do lie.
Today was never a Kirra day.
The general feeling on the call was disbelief. I spoke to the security guy guarding the gate ” I’ve been here thirty five years, this is a bad call, today isn’t a Kirra day. Look! ” He swept his hand out to the Snapper line-up where another head high set was peeling into Rainbow. Jake Patterson was hunkered down at Kirra like General Patton in the Phillipines while Rainbow Bay peeling into Greenmount taunted and haunted his call.
Tyler Wright rode a proper Kirra barrel in the morning free surf. Steph rode one in the QF against Alana and that was the sum total of it. It was very far from the exhibition of womens surfing we’d seen on days prior. In fact, watching Alana tube dodging and the others all trying to pick one of the rarest of diamonds, a makeable Kirra barrel, was tidak bagus. You done screwed the pooch Jake.
There wasn’t much else to do except keep quaffing the sponsors products: the ubiquitous red bull and Berocca drinks. With the white bread and vegemite combo I felt as full of cheap chemicals as an indica plant in a dutch hydro lab. That’s Pro Surfing for you; as a punter you go full artificial and hope you don’t drop dead of a heart attack.
With all the mainstream media beat-up over the Slater drug comments I thought it might be appropriate to do a little on the ground research on the “rampant” recreational drug use around the comp. Surely I could find a joint or two or score some pills or powder. Not for me personally, I went straight edge after getting addicted to synthetic opiate painkillers when I had a wisdom tooth pulled, but purely for research.
The walk back from Kirra was filled with young surfers with sponno stickers. I started asking at random if they or their peers smoked mull or took pills. I couldn’t find one to admit to even a chooff.
“nah, that stuff’s crook”
“I ‘ve seen my friends older brother’s do it, it’s pretty derro.”
“It’s for losers”.
Based on what I’ve seen and the kids I see surfing drugs are way less part of the culture these days.
So-called illicit drugs that is. You can fill your body full of legal chemicals like Red Bull, tobacco and alcohol though. The whole of society is saturated with legal painkillers and other prescription drugs. That doesn’t lessen the harm of drug use in surfing but it does make efforts to sensationalise it in a return to mouldy stereotypes about “druggie surfies” look pretty fucking stale.
Back in the media room I asked a younger journo from the city about drug use and he said “yeah, of course we do” and pulled a bag of buds from his kit bag to demonstrate. Journos writing beat-ups about drug use and on the gear themselves, that doesn’t sound like hypocrisy, much.
Showers were sweeping across a groomed superbank lineup. I took a GoPro for a swim hoping to find Jake Patterson to ask him if Mr Speaker had busted his balls today on the dud call but all I got was stink-eye from Rosie Hodge and the dubious pleasure of dodging surfboards on the most crowded piece of surfing real estate on Earth.
I finally found my drug addicts: two hideously drunk guys staggering on the Rainbow Bay footpath. “I’m fucked in the head”, one screamed. The other careened into a lady with a pram. No-one blinked.
I drove back to the Ox and drank a couple of beers, like every other Joe Six Pack after work, safe in my sanctimony. Alcohol remains the most lethal drug, the most damaging in the real world as well as the surf world, but thats not sexy for the Murdoch press. It’s understandable that mainstream journalists, caught up in the painful structural changes in the newspaper world would want to play to lowest common denominator fear and hysteria about drugs in order to increase circulation and page views, but that doesn’t make it any less sickeningly hypocritical and superficial.
All in all, Jakes Kirra misadventure was a bad miss for the QuikPro, a lost 48 hrs that they may well rue if cyclone Sandy makes a bee-line for the QLD coast.
You’ve seen it a hundred times but here’s one more angle of Steph’s should have been ten point ride.