As you can tell, I really like posting video clips. They're fun to make, pretty easy to do and if you post them to YouTube they're archived forever. Here's the down side- you're confronted with the reality of how you actually surf. And that can be really, really heavy.
Above: Mitchell De Jarnett swinging away in Seal Beach.
Photo: Elva De Jarnett
No matter how much you think you're connecting turns or lip smacking or soul arching or whatever- the camera never lies and the more you watch, the more little things start to really bother you. Maybe it's the way you get all knock kneed when you're really scratching for a wave (guilty) or maybe it's the visual proof that even though you think you've just smoothed it up to the nose- you're really a good two feet from the tip (ah, guilty again). It might just be the way the camera adds an extra fifteen pounds (does that wetsuit make me look fat?). The fascination is there, you want to see yourself surf- everybody does, but somehow it's always a little bit of a let down.
Which brings me to my greatest crime: Pushing the Shopping Cart. My buddy Mark dropped this one on me half way through my latest clip: "Hey Ashley, the way you hold your paddle- it looks like you're pushing a shopping cart." What a dagger, jabbed so nonchalantly into the guts of my paddlesurf ego. He was perfectly on target, I do look I'm heading for the door at WalMart. Damn. And the biggest problem with the posted video is there's no hiding it. It's out there. Forever. So go ahead, scroll back and scrutinize my style, see where I'm walking the nose, arms out like some surf zombie. Have a good laugh, I'll be doing the same.