Keegan Gibbs – Blog

swell days

Posted in Surfing by Keegan on July 27, 2009

My body is aching and sunburned. My lips peeling, nose too. The lower ribs of my back hurt when I breath deeply. My feet are riddled with cuts and bruises. My eyes feel like hot boiling water was poured into them as they were forced open. My neck is like a stiff wooden board. I have rashes under my arms, on my neck, and behind my knees.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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It isn’t very often that a large south swell comes around. The last 5 days were a treat of a once a year proportion. I surfed my brains out.

It started one week ago, last Monday the 20th of June. There were little waves at home, but everyone had kept talking about this swell that was promising to be “big.” Early in the week I started to see the swell models and predictions for myself. Come Thursday, the energy around our little/big beach town was something that reminded me of being young again, where not much else mattered when a good south swell was on the horizon, putting all responsibilities aside from guitar lessons to baseball practice. Some early signs of the swell started to show at our local break in the late afternoon. Anticipation and eagerness filled the air. I was eagerly awaiting to see what would happen overnight, and if she would show her face the coming morning.

What transpired from the point I got the phone call from my friend Anthony Petruso at 5:20 Friday morning until I awoke again this Monday morning is of a certain feeling that is truly indescribable. Despite it only being hours ago, it is a blur. Every waking moment was consumed with surfing and I will have to leave it at that.

It felt amazing to make a conscious decision last wednesday to completely dedicate the next 5 days to surfing. And that’s it. I wasn’t going to be turning on my computer, I would be scarcely answering phone calls and emails and would be hardly taking photos, the hardest of all. But when you pull up to a spot to surf, the last thing you want to do is take photos, and the first thing is get in the water. Besides, photos never seem to do a wave’s intensity, size, or perfection justice. I would rather be worrying about which board to surf at what spot at what time. That was as complicated of a decision that I would be making.

Fortunately, my life allows for me to do this. Talking to friends that have 9-5’s and girlfriends and too many obligations to enjoy themselves during the swell gives me anxiety for them. The feeling of missing a “swell-of-the-summer” swell is something everyone hates. Especially months or years down the line when friends are talking about one specific wave, set or day from that swell. You want to be a part of that memory.

2 Responses

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  1. katelin said, on July 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    i like reading your stories

  2. thedayafteryoudie said, on July 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    That first friday at zeros was amazing. i got to paddle out only a couple times during the s/s, however I’m grateful for that

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