Getting to the surf can sometimes be as good an adventure as the surf you get to. One way to set the tone for a good session is to pick a good surfmobile. You definitely want something friendly for the environment in some way. I just sold my 1959 Chevy to a collector for this reason. It was a super fun truck to drive around but I felt guilty every time I started it up. At the same time, you don't want something boring and super straight.

You want something that says something about you. And you want something with room for your boards.

VW busses have always been a favorite of mine. I have had 1960, 1965, 66, 67, 68, 69, and 79 buses as well as a couple Vanagons. Fun all of them. But slow.

But slow can be exciting too. I was skiing with Kass in one of my buses once when I saw a big semi-truck tailgating a woman in a little station wagon. My misplaced sense of chivalry kicked in and I slipped in between the little wagon and the big truck and shifted down. Slowly but surely I slowed the truck to a crawl just in time for the next big hill. Man, he was mad. Honking, flashing his lights, and flipping me off. At the bottom of the hill, I took off at full speed. Full speed for a VW Bus. Boy did we ever leave him behind.

Until the next downhill.

About five minutes down the other side of the pass I saw this small truck shape in my rear view mirror rapidly getting larger and larger. Right as he was about to catch us I whipped off the road (again, whipped is relative in a Bus) and down an exit. Now I had him fooled!

Apparently the handling of a speeding semi-truck is almost identical to that of a speeding VW Bus. Because he followed me down the offramp at full speed, aiming to squash us like a bug.

I eventually outran him but Kass was not pleased with the car-chase.

VW Bugs are fun too. A little squirlly in the wind though. I came around a bend in the road and straight into a headwind with three longboards side by side on an extra-wide rack once. The whole front of the Bug lifted up in a dragrace-style wheelie. That was exciting.

Volvo wagons are less exciting. Safe though. And safe is good. I rolled one off the cliff and into the branches of an oak tree hanging over N-Bay once. Took me and half the tribe a day to get that car back up onto the gravel road. The car was a little banged up, I was a little shook up, but my dad's longboard was never the same.

Another time I was heading south in a big wagon after an afternoon session at the F-Jetty. Corky and I had caught it good and solo'ed it (ok, we duo'ed it) all afternoon. Tired and wet, we were hoping to make it down to Pistol River that evening. Corky was driving at the same time as he was supervising my opening of a couple pop-tarts, the poor man's energy bar of choice. He was in the middle of telling me how he didn't want his tart broken when I felt the car bump a few times. By the time I looked up, we had veered off the long straight newly asphalted road, punched wagon-sized hole in the brush and were half way though a 150 foot air down a sand dune. It was a steep soft landing though, and we were fine. One of my sponsors paid to get us towed out and I drove the rest of the trip.

I guess maybe any surfmobile that gives you a good story is worthwhile.

I'll let you know when I find a good replacement for my '59 Apache.

No comments: