Zodi’s Blog

From Rip-Curl to Rip-Tide to R.I.P.

 Did I Die? 

I’m not sure if I died or not, but I’ll get to that later. I’ve had more than my fair share of almost dying, but this was by far the closest I’ve come. This particular near death experience took place the first time I went to Costa Rica.

See, I learned to surf on the gulf coast of Florida, where on an average day you could find me riding 18 inch waves like a veteran Hawaiian Tropic pro. I did surf during a couple of tropical storms and hurricanes and even got called in by the local police on a bullhorn. So in my mind, I am the great Bodhi,  Johnny Utah, or one of those other characters from “Point Break.”

So I’m understandably over the moon to go to Costa Rica for not only the perfect waves, but also because the place is teeming with monkeys. The people who know me, know I love monkeys. I’m almost obsessed with them. Even my facebook picture features me with a monkey. Before I die, I will own a mansion filled with monkeys. I’ll …I’ll …never mind, I have to let the monkeys go for now.

Anyway, after my first really long night in Costa Rica (which involved copious amounts of really cheap South American beer) I was stoked to hit to the beach. When I finally broke through the thick, rain forest vegetation I was awed; beautiful white sand, pure azure water forming utterly majestic waves.

costa rica                                                                   


Even though I was sporting an impressive hangover, it was with an exuberant smile and a spring in my step that I went to rent a board. As the nice rental man kept muttering in Spanish and crossing himself, I began to feel a twinge of doubt. I felt a moment of pure trepidation as he looked at my wife with a mixture of sympathy and regret and as he kept wincing while handing over the board. As I left him and wondered toward the sea, my ego had returned to all if its 30 something year old glory.

As I made my way out to sea, I noticed that there were only a couple of kids (all about 17 or 18) busy cutting it up out there. It didn’t bother me that they all looked like Hawaiian surfing competition pros, or that the waves were 15 to 20 feet high. It didn’t bother me that there were only natives; hell, I’m a native on the infamous gulf coast. I live on the water. I’m a Pisces. I’m probably even in better shape than these damn kids with their damn hair, damn drugs and damn music.

 They kept talking to me in Spanish, which at the time I couldn’t really speak, so I just smiled and nodded. I did wonder about all the concerned, anxious looks though. It turns out that they were talking about the worst rip-tide they’ve seen in years. Oops. 

The waves were breaking way, way out, but I managed to get out there seemingly without effort. I am a bad ass after all. I noticed almost everybody else was now on shore. They all probably went in to watch the talented, good looking American ‘tear shit up.’ Ah ..probably?

As I deftly went under the last few waves to take me past the break point, an exhausted native kid with flippers came and clutched my board for dear life. He mutters in broken English about how brutal it is and how he needs a break before trying to go ashore again. After trying to communicate for a couple minutes, he finally lets go and dives under the water to head ashore (with his flippers) leaving me to concentrate on surfing. Only now I’m starting to wake up to what’s actually going on. I realize that I can hardly see where the waves are breaking anymore, and can barely see the beach. If I had to guess, I’d say I was 3 miles from shore. Uh oh….shit..fuck. The lifeguard-less shore where people are now standing and pointing at the diminishing dot where the horizon meets the sea….

To be continued…

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 9 Comments