August 12, 2011
Shouldering a 10-foot standup paddleboard to the bank of the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula, I suddenly felt imbued with the coolness of surfing. As a landlocked mountain junkie, this was an unfamiliar experience. A teenager asked where I was going and I felt a sudden urge to call him “brah.” The glances of passing girls lingered a bit longer than usual. Then I realized, man, these paddleboards get pretty heavy after a couple blocks.
As people on the river path oggled, I, in true surfer style, pretended to be too cool to notice. In reality, I couldn’t move my head — I had no idea how to carry that damn board, and angling it across my shoulder and head while holding it with one arm might have looked cool, but I was well on my way to rupturing every muscle in my neck.