Mantauk: Dispatches from our Therapist
When we’re in Montauk, we’re at Jimmy Goldberg’s—the best, and only ding repair in town—more often then we’re actually in the water. It was no surprise, then, that in the hours we spent watching our boards get bandaged back to life, that Jimmy—who’s life experience could be measured by how many ships he’s had to sink with the Coast Guard on his trail—became our default therapist. In this ongoing column, Jimmy waxes poetic on love, life, and surf etiquette while we furiously take notes.
What’s the best way to get psyched again when you keep eating shit in the water?
Try a new board, put a different fin on your board or try someone else’s board. Fresh foam is always exciting. To this day I ride this piece of shit board, but I have these other boards waiting in the wings for when the waves are good. Then I get super-duper excited. Surfing is the only sport I know of that you run to. You don’t run to a baseball game or to play tennis, but when there’s freaking waves I drop everything and get in my car. I never speed, but I don’t talk to anybody – don’t bother me…see ya.
Is chatting with your neighbors in the lineup a no-no?
I chat with some of my friends, but only my real close surfing friends. I’m pretty goddamned focused out there. Even when I’m talking to someone I’ve been surfing with for 30 or 40 years, I always have one eye on the horizon. If he stops to tell me how to make a million dollars and I see a wave coming, I’m going to take the wave before he gives me the answer.
Should women ever make the first move?Yes. Absolutely. What’s the difference if a guy or a girl makes the first move? Nobody wants to get shut down, but opportunity only knocks once. What’s the old saying? “You throw enough shit on the wall and some of it’s going to stick.”
We keep getting dumped by local boys, what’s going on?Count your lucky blessings. All I know is that when I was young, I never dumped any girls. There were hardly any around. Now they’re freaking everywhere. Why would you bring a sandwich to a schmorgesborg? That’s pretty chauvinistic, huh?
Maybe the sandwich is better than what’s at the schmorgesborg?Could very well be. If someone has a great girlfriend that they really care for it doesn’t even matter. You still go to the schmorgesborg, but you just look at the food. Guys are always looking at that food.
Is it ever OK to say “shaka”?I tend to do the opposite of what people are doing. When they start doing the shaka, I give them the peace sign. And when they do the peace sign, I give them the finger. Not the middle finger, but just a finger. I go against the grain. I was telling my friend in the water yesterday that everyone was getting lean and trim and fit. Not me: I’m getting fat and soft.
What happened to the last guy that tried to start another ding repair in Montauk?I asked the guy if he was doing dings. He said, “Why?” I said because it’d be pretty difficult to surf with no hands. No, really, if people want to do it they can try, but it’s hard to make money off of it and to get set up. But if someone can get set up, we’ll probably join forces, and compare notes…and then I’ll cut his hands off. No big deal.