So I get a call Monday night from Dave Scott saying the Gulf is gonna be firing and we should go get some pics with the team. Now, being the skim head that I am I was instantly excited by the mission yet slightly skeptical of driving 6 hours round trip to skim in the Gulf… None the less I was amped to kick it, ride with the crew, and had high hopes of scoring a few good shots. I proceeded to get my shift at Alley-Oop covered, link up with my homie/employee Danny Rodriguez, watch some Monday night football, and gave him my shop keys so he can open in the morning. The Dolphins lost and with the exchange of shop keys my next day was altered in a way that I would of never expected.
I wake up at 5:30 am the next morning, make some coffee, pack some snacks, and then go to pack my boards. Shit! I had left them in my store and given my key to Danny to open… All my go-to boards were in the shop. Time was ticking to get on the road, Danny was deep in slumber at his house, and I was forced to grab my old fish. No worries I thought, I love my fish. It’s a little small but probably ok for some Gulf coast lines. I decided to go for it and get on the road with my single red sled.
As I drove through the darkness I began to think about the possible conditions I would be skimming and if my fish would be ok. I used to rip on that board I thought, yet it is like 4-5 inches smaller than the board I had been riding all year. I figured I would be with the crew and there would be plenty of other boards to try out. It was all good.
After a long drive the sun rose and I met up with Monster and Dave Scott to check the infamous Boca Grande liner. We went for a little session and skimmed some little liners close to the beach. I got a few good ones but the board was just not floating like my others. I tried Monsters big ass boards and they definitly were not gonna work for me. Nothing was feeling right. I began to get a little spun out in the head about not having my boards. I meet up with the rest of the boys; Zach and Blake Smetts, Boisclair, Akerman, Dan, and even good old Dion Davis. We decide Boca is not the spot and then head north to a place where Max and Zach had scored some good ones earlier in the day. When we got there it looked pretty fun and we all charged it.
Let me tell you, it was not fun it was freakin going off! Some of the best Gulf waves I had ever seen. A little dead water, a hard run down a ledge, through some shells, and a fast breaking liner that was just realing down the beach. Not really the set up for a small unfamiliar board. I decided I was a professional and I was gonna make my board work anyway. I proceeded to run my ass off and get some really fun waves. While I was running my ass off for fun waves the rest of the crew was ripping epicly long liners. I was just not in tune with my old board. I decided to try every other board on the beach picking off a few good ones but never really feeling it. I just felt off. Not making the sections, falling where I normally would not. It was getting frustrating but I was still skimming ok.
I go for another good one, get a nice line in the pocket, and then try to ollie/float over Akermans board coming at me in the shore break. Things get a little blurry and then the rail of my board is just ripping up and into my shin! I instantly knew something bad was happening. I flash backed to a similar trip ending injury for Zach in cabo as he is walking by me coming out of the water holding my shin togehter. He knew exactly what was up.
My shin was smiling and spitting blood out for the whole team to see! I got very angry and knew that it was time to go get some stitches. Zach took me to the hospital. 5 stitches, a tetanus shot, and all the other fun and waiting that goes into an ER visit and I was ready to head back to Ft. Lauderdale. As i drove back through darkenss and turential downpoor I reflected upon the sequence of events and realized that this was definitely one good day gone bad.
Moral of the story: Know your quiver, be prepared, and always have a spare set of keys to where your boards are kept!