Getting Double Barreled

Jesus achieved immortality by age 32. Buddha reached enlightenment at around the same age. What have I achieved by this age?

I got double barreled.

Getting covered up once is a rare occurrence at the reef and beach breaks I surf here. Sure, the breaks are fun, classic, Southern California, but rarely do they pitch enough to be tubed.

But today, a miracle happened. I was at a break about 15 minutes north of where I live. It’s summer time and my home break refraction bodes poor for south swell exposure. Just a short drive north, however, and the coast starts wrapping around a little, allowing for some southerly exposure.

While my home reef break was flat, this beach break provided numerous head-high waves.

The waves would gradually form on the outside, nice bunched-up peaks with bulky shoulders. The steep onshore sandbars cause the waves here to actually break a little top-to-bottom.

There’s something to be said about persistence and patience. I was thinking of paddling in after about two hours of being in the water. But that’s when my transformation occurred. (True, this wave is no Lance’s Right Mentawaii miracle but what’s considered epic is relative.)

I caught a right and rode it all the way to shore and as the wave was about to close I just bent my knees a couple inches and with my own eyes and ears saw and heard the peeling section break over my head.

I re-emerged after a second. How rare it is to remember one second of your lifetime. This second will be in my memory bank for eternity. I will carry that memory into my next lifetime.

But before I get too philosophical about reincarnation, I need to write down what happened after I shook my head after coming out of the tube, like a big sheepdog after getting a bath.

Another wave had reformed on the inside and connected with the barrel ride I just got. I dug the rail in and hitched a ride on this chest-high peeler that five seconds later started to close out, though not top-to-bottom, but mushy.

I did a classic head dip, got soaked but stood back up and emerged out of the mini-half cylindrical emerald wave.

My friend Dave, who is re-enlisting back into the Army and hopes to serve in Iraq (His ambitions on land match those in the water: he surfs with a kamikaze suicidal style on his longboard.), was hooting and hollering, witness to my rare double barrel.

Sure, my getting tubed was no stand-up dry-run Indo barrel. It wasn’t Blacks Beach on a 10-foot day; yet I think getting covered up twice on the same ride is an impressive feat.

Think of the excitement of a little child finding a cluster of four-leaf clovers. That’s how I felt getting double barreled, only I created it; I didn’t merely bend over and find it. Am I comparing myself to a small child, and dissing that child’s ecstatic feeling finding a blade of grass?


I remember finding four-leaf clovers and though I ran into my house to show off to my mom, I can’t remember feeling that amped like I did today getting covered up.

I want to live a long and healthy life surrounded by abundance and meaningful relationships. But if the fates take me out of this temporary and illusory world, I will be at peace with that, knowing that I accomplished what few others have: getting double barreled.

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