It was a long time ago when I witnessed Pip Staffieri ride his first ever wave. He was like a Hawaiian god riding into the flaming sun. This was the day when Pip made surfing history.
It was a boiling hot summers day and Pip could not sell his ice-cream fast enough. Queues upon queues of sweaty holiday makers had formed waiting to break into Pips famous 99 cones. And I (of course) was amongst them.
On the waves there were a handful of body-boarders paddling on their planks of wood trying to catch a good wave. Whilst that that was going on Pip was doing business with his ice-cream. But something else was on Pip’s mind. He put down his scooper and gazed wonderingly out onto the open ocean as if he wanted more.
Then Pip shut the van window and rather apologetically said: “Sorry folks, business is finished.” I was outraged; I was next in the queue!
But as I was going ballistic about not getting an ice-cream, Pip was pulling something heavy out of his rusty van. Something so big people wonder how he was actually able to get it in. Something so big so big more than human strength was needed. Something so big … (I think you get the idea). For short: it was huge and heavy. When he got the thing out of his van, he had to put it on a trolley to be able to get it down the beach.
People stared as Pip flung the object into the water. It seemed to be to be made out of wood – maybe oak and it definitely had a layer of varnish on it. That’s when I realised it was some type of board.
Pip jumped on the board and started paddling out to sea. He seemed almost at home in the ocean as if he was not human. Pip started off lying down on his board but slowly he started to rise. And soon enough he was standing.
Everyone started cheering and clapping at Pip. Except the body-boarders who (I think) were just plain jealous. But whilst he was standing I couldn’t help but notice that one of his legs was shorter and weaker than the other.
If you had seen Pip’s leg you would have wondered how in the world was he able to stand up on an unsteady board. But that did not affect him.
Very soon a wave began to form. And as it towered over Pip people started making prayers for him not to die. But soon enough he was swallowed in the wave.
The beach was silent, waiting for him to be washed back on the beach. But no. That was not to be. Instead out popped Pip riding the wave whilst standing! He was like a Hawaiian god up there.
And soon enough Pip was back on the beach. People from every side came rushing over to him congratulating the surf god of his display.
But if that wasn’t enough the next thing Pip did was shout “Come on everyone ice-creams on me!”