Dear reader, if ever I come across something more ridiculous than the state of my cutbacks after 20 years of trying, I am duty bound to bring it to you. I'm in Peru. Sounds tropical...it's not.
Facts about Thruster
Thruster didn't take up surfing until he was 19, but soon became hooked and was determined to let neither a late start, nor a remarkable dearth of natural talent stand in his way.
Now pushing 41 he still sincerely believes it is only a matter of time before he becomes world champion.
Also obsessed with snowboarding, at which he is marginally more impressive (he can stand up), Thruster has been writing surfing and extreme sports articles for 15 years. His next journalistic challenge is to write a good one.
Home Break: Gwithian
Surf Trips: Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Philippines, Fiji, Indonesia, NZ, Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, Canaries, Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama.
Surfers' Ear Operations: 3 (but needs another)
Would love to live in: Galicia
Board: 6'4" x 18 ¾ rounded pin (and a 7'4" log when really desperate)
Standard: Easily one of the best in his cul-de-sac.
Despite being virtually on the equator, I've just had to buy a wetsuit. Had I bothered to read any surf guide whatsoever before packing my bag, I would have known this.
This morning in the water, some old dude tore past me bashing the lip pretty damn hard several times. Impressive stuff. A couple of minutes later the same bloke somehow magicked the next decent wave to come exactly to where he was sitting. I hate the way good surfers do that. Deep down the thinking surfer knows that it's due to their expertise and experience, but, being a bitter individual, I'm convinced it's luck.
Anyway, watching and reluctantly admiring the old fella's style as he shredded his way past me again and again, I noticed his hair was thick, almost too thick for a man of that age, but also a little bit lop-sided.
Thruster tends to his thatch
Obviously, being follicly challenged (and bitter), the sight of any older man with thick hair sickens me to the pit of my stomach and makes me question how life can sometimes be so unfair, so I was desperate to get to the root of the weirdness of the styling in the hope that something was amiss.
I didn't have to wait long. No longer, in fact, than the time it took him to dive through the next wave as it closed out.
As he surfaced, I thought he'd been replaced by Max Wall. For those to young to know, Max was a man with long hair, but none of which originated from any higher than his ears: Bald as a coot with a massive comb-over.
If there's one thing more tragic than a man with a comb-over, it's a man who surfs with a comb-over, but he did it well and had honed his technique to perfection. He surfaced with his head slightly cocked to the right. For a split second you could see his shiny dome and a huge flap of hair hanging to the side.
It looked like a burnt pizza was flapping soggily from his ear. But then, with one clever little sweep of the right forearm, it was back in position. Incredible. It took 20 years off him! Being sodden and heavy, and with nothing stronger than a light breeze ever ruffling his local break its was staying put nicely and he was just about managing to pull it off.
Chilly and depressed I gave up on catching waves and paddled in. It had so far taken me 20 years and would probably take me another 20 to be able to do a proper move on a surfboard, but it would only take me a year to grow a respectable comb-over. I went to my hostal and after a warming shower, stood in front of the mirror to check which side of my head had the thickest growth!
last updated: 20/02/2009 at 10:29