KURT'S first visit to Ireland was the king hell of all trips. Big waves, drama, the hissy to end all hissy fits -- last year at this time Kurt threw a Hoover Dam of wobblies. He threatened to end our friendship, go to Dublin and get the first plane home.
(A tale of New York tube Basset Hound Kurt Rist's recent visit to ex-pat and fellow Yank, Dylan Stott, for a romp around Ireland.)
Sometimes emotions run high when a guy like Kurt expects to go tow for the first time in perfect 30ft waves and then finds out he might not be able to. Wasn't my fault, I certainty didn't build up his expectations. I told him to play it cool and to see what happens, show up with a keen and knowing look about you and most likely you'll get involved somehow.
Then a ski went down and suddenly there were too many Indians and not enough horses. I probably would have done the same thing. After all, it wasn't too long ago that I was 26, freshly released from a near decade long stint in the big wave finishing school that is the North Shore of Oahu, eager to get out and see just what other kinds of big waves are out there in the world.
Because of this, because years spent on the North Shore proves you're a stern buck, and capable in the serious stuff. Kurt is the only guy from my hometown in Long Island that I would bring down to that little harbour he almost didn't get to launch out of. Then Richie's ski, the one that was down, showed up at the last minute. To Kurt it was as if an angel had driven that ski straight down from heaven.
That was last year. This year I said I'd meet at the airport in Dublin and the plane arrives on time at nine am.
© Mark Maguire