“Wetsuit, board, cameras, and pup in tow, we walked down the empty beach to a small cove where less-than-modest surf peeled along the sand and eagles circled overhead. It was small, but at least it wasn’t windy. Ankle slappers beat ‘victory at sea’ any day. And though the Duct Tape may have been the catalyst for our trip, this felt like the true destination.”
My friend Cass was cruising through town to drop off some film at Dexter’s Camera. I was in between running errands and trying to finish up one of many motor projects. Upon crossing paths, we opted to take a break from the day’s tasks and grab some food. Between bites, she asked if I’d ever been to a Duct Tape Invitational.
“Amado and I are headed up to the Duct Tape Tofino event this weekend to check it out!”
“Aw, man! Can I come?” I couldn’t help but asking. I’d never been to Vancouver, and what better reason to go than to watch some surfing?
I’d worked through Thursday, and had to be in Portland the following week — but for once, I had the weekend off. The trip happened to line up perfectly. We parted ways, brimming with stoke, and the three of us started looking for cheap plane tickets. Our flights were scheduled to leave in the wee hours of the approaching Friday. We had all booked separately, so I assumed Cass and Amado were on different flights. On Friday morning, finding a 3am cab to the airport proved more difficult than I had expected. There are few Ubers in Ventura, and even fewer at 3am. Running on minimal sleep, I approached the automated check–in machine, fumbling for my passport. I struggled to remember my name, but a familiar voice from behind quickly reminded me of the painfully obvious:
“Nate!” I turned around; Cass was standing right behind me.
After Cass and I touched down in Vancouver, we grabbed our checked bags and took a seat to wait for Amado, who was an hour or so behind us. Upon his arrival, we got Amado’s luggage and started heading out.
“Wait! I’ve got one more in oversized.”
Amado had brought his log, hoping to sneak in a couple waves himself. We loaded up the rental car, strapping the board to its roof before hopping in. As we were about to pull away, the manager ran out.
“You can’t strap that to the roof!”
Amado tried to reason with him. “Come on, 10ft glider on a Mazda 3? Trust us, we’ve seen worse on PCH too many times to count.” But despite Amado’s charm, the manager insisted it was a no-go.
“No stress!” I interjected, “I’ll stay with the board. Let me just call the friend we’re staying with in Vancouver. He can give me a lift. Where’s the best place for me to get picked up?”
With a little reassurance, the rental agent pointed me to the street, and I waved Cass and Amado off as I hiked up to street level. In a short time, my friends pulled up, we strapped the board on and set off to catch the ferry to Nanaimo.