The truth can now be told
by Corky Carroll
Last week I began this story telling you about where I grew up, Surside Colony, and the background on what led to me sneaking my neighbors surfboard out of his yard and taking it for a spin. This is taken from my new book, “Not Done Yet.” Here is the rest of the story.
Surfside had a little street that ran along the beach. The houses on the ocean side were “A row.” On the land side they were “B row.” Our house was on the inland side of the street but there were no houses directly across the street on the beach side. There was also very little beach, maybe only about twenty feet of sand and then the ocean. Kerry had to help me carry the board out of the yard, across the street and onto the beach. It was too heavy for me to pick up by myself. We were only like maybe eight years old at the time and this big wooden surfboard weighed more than both of us together. But we got it down to the water and I made my launch. The surf was probably about three or four feet that day. Although in my boy-mind memory it was freaking huge. Like eighty or ninety feet, maybe a hundred. Really big.
I am really not sure how I made it our past the waves. Must have just been sheer luck. But there I was, sitting on Larry Conroy’s beautiful balsawood surfboard outside the surf and living life large. What a beautiful feeling and beautiful view. When the waves would pick me up I could see over the houses. There was a seafood restaurant on the other side of Pacific Coast Highway, which was right behind our house, named “Sam’s.” Sam’s had a big neon fish sign on its roof and I could see it from the board when I would float over wave crests. This was breathtaking.
But the idea was to ride this thing, not just sit there basking in the flora and fauna and enjoying the view. What I had not counted on was the current. I had floated a little bit north up the beach and without really realizing it I was now out in front of a couple of houses that were on A row. The front of the houses on A row were on wooden pilings keeping them out of the water. That’s how short the beach was.
A large wave came along and I decided it was time to try this out. Taking off on an air matt was one thing, you were laying down and they were floaty and full of air. On a surfboard there was way more speed and they are long and pointed. As this mountain of water lifted me skyward I paddled my guts out and caught it. I leaped to my feet just like I had seen the older guys do a zillion times and prepared to take the drop. What a rush. But, as often happens on peoples first attempt at this, the nose of the board buried into the bottom of the wave and sprung me off like a large springboard. I remember looking straight at a house right in front of me as I was flying through the air. Uh oh.
Lucky for me I came out of the bone crushing wipe out unscathed. But Larry’s board didn’t fare so well. It had hit one of the pilings under the house and had a giant gash in one rail. I was in deep cat poo poo. Cat poo poo is much like doggie doo doo but smells worse.
Conferring with Kerry we came up with the only workable solution that seemed available at the time. We would put the board back and never say a word.
The whole book is available at www.bluemangosurf.com or on Amazon.