Knock off, Knock out

I put my surfboard over my head. It’s more like; where is this surfboard going with this girl, than the other way around. Max bumps his cruise ship of a board into mine. I can’t fight. His board is as big and wide as he is. So I continue my pace steadily. That’s my best weapon.

The waves are sucky but messy. I’m being knocked about like in a washing machine, but I paddle hard and relentlessly and judging by the amount of raised eyebrows, to the surprise of many, I pass the A frame and arrive safely. So, I sit up straight to establish my victory. Max laughs.

‘Laugh all you want,’ I say, ‘but your victory days are over.’ That’s right big daddy, I think to myself.
‘That’s right big daddy,’ says Levine on the other side of Max. Even Levine looks miniature compared to this guy.
‘Really,’ Max challenges me, ‘I’d like to see you move like that on the waves.’ He raises one eyebrow, he’s good at that. It gives him an almost goofy reckless dangerous look.
‘Hey, I can take you.’
He laughs even louder. This is his thing. Obviously because he always wins, it’s inevitable.
‘I can take you down, big daddy.’
‘Hey, who came up with the term big daddy? My name is Max, as in Maximus or Maximum.’
‘I did,’ both Levine and I say simultaneously. But then I suddenly realise that I hadn’t said that out loud.

‘Okay, Maximus, I dare you to take this next mother.’ Levine points to a big one that is on our tails before we knew it. I manage to paddle my way out of this monster, but Levine and Max take this one. Levine might be smaller, but he definitely wins when it comes to speed. He’s as quick as an eagle going for his prey. He’s quick. But not quick enough. And gets devoured by the monstrosity. Total wipe out. But with his angel hair, he flies out of its core and is spit out by the white water.

Max comes paddling back with a sharp smile on his face. He won. Again. The other guys shake their heads. But out of the foam rises a man that almost submerges in the water as if he belongs there. He throws his hair back like a model in a shoot. ‘That’s all you got?’ Max shouts at him. He laughs. He knows his time will come.

Max turns his attention to me. He hasn’t had enough yet. ‘What? You don’t have the guts?’
I say nothing, I stay steady.
‘Need a hand to get up?’
‘Hey, she taught herself how to walk. She can handle herself,’ defends Levine.
‘Did you? How would that work?’
‘Garden hose,’ I reply.
‘For real? Pretty inventive. Where were your parents?’
‘Watching.’
‘That’s sick.’ His eyebrow reaches higher grounds again. He paddles, and off he goes. As sharp as a shark.

‘When are you going?’ Shouts Levine. I look around. They’re pretty massive. ‘You got this hose girl.’

I see Macy on the beach shaking her head. She doesn’t dare venture out. I can’t blame her. I was brazen, I admit it. And now I am here and I will have to master one of these, subdue myself to the supremacy of nature. Humble myself under its power, which is, of course, one of the reasons why surfing takes you to the next level. Max is well on his way back.

‘Well, are you gonna wait there for your garden hose? Or are you gonna pick up this next one.’ I feel the tail of my board rising, I’m being pick up. I see Max paddling. I pick up. I paddle. I jump up. I push. I hit. He knocks off. From 45 degrees, I move in my board, tip Max’s and he is going down. Down and downer. He is being demolished by the mother of all waves that day and I am riding like a queen. I hear the guys shout and cheer at the other end of the wave.

I ride it all out and make a clean exit. When Max rides the A frame and shows face after me he gets a good cheer also: ‘Mama’s gonna knock you out,’ the boys shout and I raise my one eyebrow ‘hose girl’s gonna knock you out, big daddy.’ He waves both arms in a ceremonial bow. ‘You got me, knocked off and knocked out.’

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