Last weekend two friends of mine, Vanessa and Katherine travelled 3.5 hours north in search of weekend waves. They were hunting a decent ground swell that was going to hit the mid-north coast. They found the swell alright. It was a raw 8ft straight onshore swell and was a total whiteout. They tried a few other spots nearby but found nothing worthy of the paddle out. For the next six hours they travelled south constantly turning off to check beaches and bombies with no luck. It was late afternoon by the time they got to me where we found a reef break handling the size.

The reef was just down the road from my house so I got lucky this time. The girls weren’t in as good a mood as I was. They were absolutely busting for a wave after searching for so long. Highly frustrated, drained and subdued they blamed one thing on their bad luck. Surfing hoodoo. You see, Vanessa was so excited to surf she put sunscreen on at the house before checking the surf. And that was it. Bad luck for the next eight beaches they checked. We were talking about it as we waited for the sets to hit the reef. The five biggest jinx’s for surfers…

  1. Sunscreen. Putting it on before you’ve checked the surf. A big no-no. Although we like it to sink in before we get in the water, just make sure you know you’re going in first.

  2. Announcing you’re getting one more wave then you’re going in. You’ve just guaranteed yourself at least a half hour (minimum) wait for that one wave in. You’ll either find yourself in a lull to last the century, or you’ll paddle around for the next half hour scratching to find a wave. The most likely outcome here is that you’ll end up paddling to shore in frustration, or drifting way to far into the impact zone trying to catch a small one and get smashed on a 2ft mini-slab.

  3. Scoring a great wave, then heading back out for ‘just one more’. Refer to above (just one more wave). You’ll probably get one straight away, but it will be a burger. Or you’ll simply blow it. You’ll likely walk in frustrated and hating on the entire session all based off that last wave. Just go in on a good note if you get the chance.

  4. Borrowing someone’s surfboard. It doesn’t matter how old, unwanted or how similar it is to your board, you’re likely going to mess it up in the first five minutes of your surf. You’ll be handing it back with your tail between your legs. A good friend of mine borrowed a 9ft longboard once. She snapped it clean in half on the first wave. A local photographer snapped a pic of her walking up the beach carrying both pieces on her head in shame.

  5. Over-frothing. Seeing the lineup and thinking (or announcing) how good you think it looks, how excited you are and how much fun you’re going to have. Try to keep the over-froth to a minimum for a variety of reasons. Oh so many things can go wrong here.

  6. Walking away from a half decent lineup to check the next beach. You’ll end up driving half way around the country, then end up back at that same beach that will then look nothing like what it did five hours ago.

I’m sure there are a lot more jinx’s out there. Let’s hear them! I want to do my best to steer clear of the surfers hoodoo.

x Kim Eulenstein



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