Crystal swells and wipeouts

‘Tell us about Bob and Auntie Jo.’

Gus loved hearing about the carefree crew we’d once been. We were parents, now, lucky enough to have kids like him, lapping up our adventures until they could make some of their own.

‘Bob and me and your Uncle Vin and Dexter, we were like best mates at school. The thing that brought us together was the surf. This was the early days. Big, single-fin, balsa boards. We’d load them up on Dexter’s VW and head out every week. In those days you had the good breaks to yourself except in summer. Then one day this short haired girl turns up with a midget board. We laughed at her. Said it was all she could carry. But she carved up that wave like we’d never seen before. Then she asked for a lift back to town. After that Jo was just like one of the gang. She was a real tomboy and a hell of a surfer. And Bob, well he had the gumption to ask her out. They never looked back. It was love at first surf.’

‘Legends,’ said Gus.

‘Yeah.’ I’d been besotted by her. Maybe we all had. I’d never quite forgiven Bob for plucking her away. I ruffled Gus’s hair. ‘Legends alright.’


2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (


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