Two Fish In the Sea
by Devon DeMint
When I was pregnant with my second daughter, my dad got a new boat. He was going to pick it up around the same time I would have my daughter. He would check in on it via emails like I would check in on my baby via apps. I joked with him about how we had similar due dates and made fun of him for trying to steal my "thunder". It helped a dad in his 60s and a daughter in her 30s navigate two very different things in similar ways.
photo: Ashley Yob @sandiegosurfphotos // sandiegosurfphotos.wordpress.com
My dad taught me to surf when I was nine and, shortly after, I was breaking his boards and borrowing his car. He was a longboarder, I was a short boarder. We surfed together all the time. He watched me ride the worst Huntington Beach in the rain for a contest and showed me all the good surf spots in San Diego when I decided to go to school there. We still surf together as much as we can, but I have kids now and when I surf, he and my mom are often the ones who volunteer to watch them. As a grown woman with kids, I have a lot in common with my mom these days. We lament and rejoice about having daughters, swap recipes and books and exchange commentary on the latest Bachelor candidates. My dad and I talk boards, swells, and house projects, but some of the time we revert to our introverted selves, quietly tinkering with the kids' legos or checking our emails.
Photo: Scott DeMint
In late November, I ordered a custom Bing Sunfish. I love a good fish. They're skatey, but give you the power right under your feet. You can pick a floater, fin drift or the most locked in cutback, plus they're much better in bigger waves than most people give them credit for. I ordered it in a yellow that Jeff from the shop called "spicy mustard". It was finished just after New Years'.
Photo: Bella Glickman @bellaglickman
My dad hadn't been surfing that much. He was busy, maybe the waves weren't that good, I can't remember. He seemed bored with his quiver. He seemed resigned to having the "Surfer's Ear" surgery. One Friday, after I came back from a cold surf in small waves, he said, "Let's go down to Bing. I need a new board". I was surprised and thrilled. I don't get to give back much to my parents besides the customary love and occasional baked goods and coffee refills.
photo: my dad on his Bing, taken by me
Helping my dad pick out a great Bing board and introducing him to the staff would be really special. He took home a "High Five" that afternoon and we were out in the water on our new yellow boards before the sunset. He had never tried a quad in all his 50 years of surfing.
Photo: Scott DeMint
He couldn't believe how fast it was; how responsive. When we were walking home, wet footprints following us on the cement, he told me he thought it was the best board he'd ever had. And there we were again, a dad is his 60s, a daughter in her 30s, riding two completely different boards made by the same shaper, connecting about nothing and everything.