TheGrom – Into the Great Unknown

Where Brave Men Fear to Tread

I don’t know about you, but I am mortified by gift shopping for my kids. I’ve got to get it right. I’m expected to get it right (after all I live with them). And I’m expected to do it alone.

Take my boy, Cody, for instance: Cody likes to surf (so far, so good). It seems a safe bet that buying him something, anything, to do with surfing will ‘get it right’ in the gift department (still going strong). But walking into a surf store, at my age and with my totally non-existent surfing background, is like walking into a futuristic, alien shopping mall.

It’s actually quite intimidating. Some thatch-blonde girl sashays up with a barely concealed sigh and goes through the motions of being polite. We’re talking entirely different languages. Plus I don’t know what I’m looking for.

SoftboardSooner or later the attendant gives up and leaves me to ‘browse’ (apostrophes should be around the ‘leaves me’ rather than the ‘browse’). So now I have no idea of what I’m looking at and no one to make sense of what I’m seeing.

In this instance I’ve previously resorted to gift vouchers. But they lack warmth.

This year he wants me to buy him an Elnino softboard. What on God’s green earth is that? In my confusion and frustration I’ve turned to my trusty old friend, the internet.


Initially I expected surf gear to be way too cool to be devalued by being on the internet. I was wrong. The best place I found was Why best? Because it has the widest range of ‘stuff’ (I still don’t know what I’m looking at) I can choose from and – here is the big winner for me – I can write questions.

It’s a lot easier to formulate the right questions when you’re in your office at home – without some dreadlocked hippy swaying impatiently from foot-to-foot. Plus you don’t have to endure the withering silence following the asking of an (for them) obvious question. Like this: I found this thing called a tail pad, is it to protect the surfer from the fin or the fin from the surfer? In other words, is the fin protector put on the fin to go surfing or when the surfing is finished?tp33-team-blue-marble-192x240

Cody would roll his eyes if I asked that.

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