CWS was started by Mark "Finger" Taylor in the summer of 2006. What's with the "Finger" name? See Here!
"Paybacks" - Why Finger's "Finger"
As published in "Surfings Greatest Misadventures-Dropping In on the Unexpected".
Five minutes late, I was five minutes late. It was 4:35 a.m., and I was supposed to meet Rob at his apartment, "the Roach Motel," at 4:30 a.m. But neither Rob nor his car were there. Either he never made it home from the previous night's partying, or worse, he left without me. Never mind the reasons I was late--like making a thermos of coffee and packing food for us, or driving thirty miles to his place at this ungodly hour. But, I was late. It was 4:35 in the morning, and I told him I'd be there at 4:30. I had snuck out of the house without waking the wife or kids, packed the Blazer with my board, wetsuit, and supplies, and drove like a madman to Rob's.
I made the rest of the ninety-minute drive to the beach alone. The sun had almost risen when I pulled into this Northern Oregon point break. There was only one other car in the parking lot--it was Rob's, and the hood was still warm. That meant he had just arrived. Rob had waited until exactly 4:30, and because I hadn't shown up yet, he left. Not cutting me any slack, the bastard. I walked down the cobblestone path toward the break until I saw Rob in his wetsuit, standing on the rocks waiting for a lull to get out. I yelled his name, and when he turned, I did what any friend would do to a friend who left without them--I flipped him off. Because I was carrying the board in my right hand, I flipped him off with my left hand, full finger extended. He shouted up, "Didn't think you would make it that early. Thought your wife wouldn't let you go. She's been giving me the stink-eye lately."
"You're full of shit," I hollered. He was squirming and I was enjoying it. That's what friends are for.
The dawning sky showed the conditions: six- to eight-foot drops, head-high walls breaking left. The waves looked really tasty--peaky nuggets, clean, fast, peeling, and expansive, with no one else out. Just the way I like it. It was a minus tide, and there was a lot of green slime on the rocks.
I suited up in record time, gloves and booties and all. As I stood on the slimy rocks waiting for a lull, I lost my footing and slipped. With my board held tight in my right hand, I put out my left to break the fall. I broke it with my middle finger first. I got back to my feet, and the pain in my left hand was immense. My middle finger was cocked sideways and bent at a forty-five-degree angle from the knuckle. This was the same finger I had flipped Rob off with five minutes earlier. I figured that I had broken my finger, but it didn't look so bad covered in a thick wetsuit glove.
A lull in the waves came, and I decided to go out and see what would happen. I waded out deep enough, where I could jump on my board and paddle outside to where Rob was sitting. It hurt like hell to paddle. I told Rob that I wasn't going to last long because of my broken finger. I showed him, flipping him off again, this time with a crooked finger. He didn't believe it until he came over right next to me and looked closely. He tried to pull it back in place, but it was impossible in the water. He just pulled me toward him.
While we were playing tug the finger, a set showed up. The first wave came right at me and instinct took over. Forget the pain, I was going to ride this wave. I paddled into position, turned, and went. It hurt to paddle, and it hurt pushing off my board to stand up. I forgot about the pain when I was up and riding. When I kicked out, I was committed to a full session. I wasn't going to stop surfing that day for a finger. For two hours we had it all to ourselves--wave after wave.
Negotiating the white water and rocks on the way in was less painful than the fifteen minutes Rob spent pulling on my wetsuit glove trying to remove it. That hurt. The cold water must have kept my finger from swelling. It wasn't broken, but it was dislocated. We tried to set it again with no luck. I discovered that as long as I kept my finger elevated, the pain was tolerable. Rob loaded my board on top of my Blazer. Now, I had to drive back to town by myself.
It was still cold out, about forty-five degrees, so I started the car, turned on the heater, and poured myself a cup of coffee from my thermos. I'd be damned if I gave Rob any.
As I warmed up, my finger began to throb, swell, and hurt. I didn't pack any ice and there were no stores around to buy any. By the time I finished my coffee, my finger was killing me, so I rolled my window down and stuck my hand out of it, thinking the wind chill would work as good as ice. My whole hand got cold, fast. To keep my hand warm, but to still keep my finger in contact with the wind, I tucked my remaining fingers
together in a fist, back into the flip-off position.
So here I am driving home, board strapped to my roof, flipping off everyone who was going toward the ocean. A lot of people gave me the finger hack, especially other surfers. We are an easily aggravated bunch, and I make friends wherever I go.
I was almost home, and my finger had swollen to three limes its normal size. It hurt like hell. I went to the emergency room at the hospital near Rob's place. They X-rayed it, injected it, set it, and wrapped it. So now my finger was splinted and white, bandaged in the permanent fuck-you position.
Because I was so close, I went back over to Rob's to show him what he had done to me. After all, it was his fault, right? He didn't seem to think so. He figured it was a payback for flipping him off in the first place. Maybe he was right, but I was still pretty pissed off at him.
Though I did gain a new nickname, I'll never regain all of the mobility in my finger. The doctor told me that had I tended to my finger right after the injury, instead of surfing with it, it would have fully healed. I let his absurd hypothesis pass without comment--obviously, he was not a surfer.
NEW OWNERS AND NEW PHONE NUMBERS FOR COLD WATER SKATE !!!
Here's the article from the Daily Astorian:
New For 2013
There will be some huge changes coming soon to the shop. Stay tuned campers...................
After 5 years, Cold Water Surf and Skate Shop has moved to a new location! We're now at:
1001 COMMERCIAL ST.
(still Astoria and just a couple of blocks from present location)
New and Used boards here!
1001 Commercial St, Astoria, OR 97103
Full forecast here!
View tons of fotos here!
Finger down the line
Panama Photos Here