THE BEACH RUN

THE SAME OLD STRETCH OF SAND SOME­TIMES HAS A MAG­I­CAL DAY … YOU’VE JUST GOT TO BE ON IT.

Carve - - FOAM -

Run­ning my lo­cal beach is ex­actly five kilo­me­tres there and back. I know, I’ve mea­sured it a hun­dred times or there­abouts on my GPS watch. My rou­tine is to go down to the beach when I have free time, and if the waves aren’t any good, and the tide is low I’ll go for a quick run. It’s flat at low tide, and the sand is nice and com­pact. It’s great for build­ing up a lit­tle sweat and get­ting the old en­gine go­ing.

Of course while run­ning up the beach, with the sea to my right, I keep a con­stant eye on the waves, just in case there might be some­thing of in­ter­est, a lit­tle sand bar pop­ping up, or a rip form­ing or some­thing. Some­times a lit­tle de­vi­a­tion would in­ter­est me and I would stop and have a closer look while get­ting breath back, but a set would even­tu­ally come through and break out­side in a long and slow close-out, as it tends to do on this straight beach. the only place where there are any sort of waves is in the cor­ner by the rocks. The shore­line has cre­ated a fierce rip there, and waves peel to­wards that rip, oth­er­wise it’s close-out city, all day ev­ery day.

A few days I ar­rived at the beach and parked at my usual spot. There were a few waves on the point, but noth­ing spe­cial. I daw­dled around in the car, con­tem­plat­ing a surf, weigh­ing up the op­tions of work and dead­lines and a fairly in­con­sis­tent line-up. There were def­i­nitely waves, but it wasn’t pump­ing by any means. ‘Maybe I should just go for a quick run,’ I thought ab­sently, and looked down the beach.

At first I didn't reg­is­ter, what I was look­ing at. Then it came to me and I fo­cused. Hard. A dis­tance down the beach, a few hun­dred me­ters away, there were a bunch of peo­ple out. I did a quick head count. Ten.

‘Must be out of town­ers,’ I thought to my­self, know­ing full well that there are no waves down that part of the beach. A set came through. Dou­ble over­head. It lurched, and peeled left and right. The guy go­ing left got ab­so­lutely barrelled, be­fore the wave col­lapsed on his head just as he was about to sneak out. The guy go­ing right surfed away from me so I couldn't see what he did, but he rode the wave through and kicked out into clear wa­ter.

An­other set. Slightly fur­ther across from the last, but from my slightly el­e­vated po­si­tion in the car park I could see that it was most def­i­nitely a peak. Again, some fierce pad­dling, with one surfer go­ing left and an­other go­ing right. The left peeled per­fectly, hol­low but a lit­tle short. No bar­rel for the back­han­der who did a nice lit­tle un­der-the-lip hook.

It was quite a scene. My lo­cal close-out re­sem­bled a pop-up beach break peak of the kind that some­times hap­pens, quite mirac­u­lously I might add, at the beach breaks of Hossegor. I suited up, and headed down to surf this bank.

Once out there it was a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent to what I had ex­pected. There were a few close­outs, but amongst them all there were a few of the most per­fect, peel­ing peaks that I had ever seen in this part of the world, and good surfers on them were get­ting kegged. Some­one who lived down that part of the beach had spot­ted the peaks in the early morn­ing and had given a few friends the heads up. It wasn't crowded. Ten guys in a shift­ing, peaky line-up is a good num­ber.

I got a cou­ple, in­clud­ing one right hand bomb that tun­nelled, but I got clipped on exit. It gave enough vi­sion for a stel­lar mem­ory, as the sun started set­ting.

Next morn­ing I was there early. It was a Mon­day. There was no one about, and the beach was clos­ing out end­lessly, as per usual. It was as if noth­ing had hap­pened, as if I had dreamed the whole thing up.

I de­cided to go for a run.

BY CRAIG JARVIS Harry Bryant.

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