Beauty No.1: The Smells of Surfing (Part 1)
The first truly beautiful moment of my surfing life was trying on a new wetsuit.
The smell and feel of the neoprene filled me with nostalgia and took me back to my teenage years when windsurfing was my primary obsession (well, almost primary). It was wonderful to be back experiencing that little struggle to get the wetsuit ankle over your feet and the involuntary wiggle as you pull the body up, slide your arms in and get comfy. After trying on a few I decided to splash out on the Quicksilver Cypher 3/2 (back zip) because it fitted perfectly (a bit better than Billabong Gold which I also liked). The feel and flexibility of the materials is a world apart from my twenty-year-old windsurfing wetsuits. I'd rather spend money on a nice wetsuit that will last and that nobody else has peed in, while being more economical with a board.
I could smell the wetsuit on my arms as I drove home and for hours afterwards. This only helped to fuel my excitement and expectation for the coming months. And now, as I write this a few days later, I must admit to sneaking into the shower (where I hang the wetsuit to dry) for a quick sniff now and again. As it sounds: it is indeed like courting the habitual necessities of a new found addiction; a new flame.