Volcano surfing, for the random Aussie guy :)

23 Dec

Ten years ago I was on a surf/snowboard trip, taking in some of the best spots for both the world had to offer. I was traveling light, other than my eight foot surf board that went with me wherever I went… including the ski hills.

I arrived in Calgary on my way up to the Banff ski area with this huge surf board bag in tow. I’m dressed inappropriately (having just come from Central America), and am dragging this massive bag that anyone who surfs would recognize as having boards in it.

As I’m walking through the airport, a guy who looks like he could be a surfer looks me up and down somewhat incredulously, then without missing a beat, says in a super thick Aussie accent: “sorry mate,  afraid the surf’s not been too good here lately”, before winking and walking off.

Bear in mind this is December in Canada, the temperature is well below zero, and we’re not on the coast. There is definitely no surf in Calgary (which is inland) in December.

It would have really easy to make fun of me, or to say something mean or to mock me. After all, I was headed to a ski hill with a surf board… but instead, this guy took the time to think of something witty, and to deliver his line in a thoroughly charmingly way. I remember it, and him, as if it was yesterday.

I thought of that guy this week as I drove inland from the Costa Rican coastline, where i was surfing, to take a look at the volcano Arenal, a good way away from the coast. Not a lot of surf there either though, obviously, and when I looked at my rental car with my surf board stuffed into it, I saw an opportunity to pay homage to that guy who made me laugh a few years back.

So, random Australian guy in Calgary airport 10 years ago…. this one’s for you mate:

Yep, that’s me with my surfboard (leash attached), in front of one of the world’s most active volcanos, for no reason at all, really. And yes, I know it’s cloudy, but here’s a shot from the exact same spot 24 hours earlier, when you can actually see the thing:

Monster. It’s an actual working volcano. That black stuff is where the lava has been. Gnarly, huh?

So thanks for the laugh that day random Aussie guy. I’m still appreciating it, even all these years later. Pura vida 🙂


2 Responses to “Volcano surfing, for the random Aussie guy :)”

  1. Kulcha Shok December 24, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    You can actually surf volcanos. I did it on my tv show ‘Island Hoppers’ in Nicaragua

    • kai macmahon December 29, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Woah, wait. that sounds awesome.

      Got a link?

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