To pee or not to pee.
The course of writing this blog has led me to consider the many ways in which surfing is unlike any other sport. One of the most obvious points of difference is that I don’t urinate all over myself while playing football or tennis. Even lawn bowls, typically the domain of the old and incontinent, allows for loo breaks.
As a new Australian of British descent, peeing in the ocean, neoprene optional, was not an activity I easily embraced. Much to the delight of early antipodean onlookers, upon feeling the call of nature I would retreat from the water and hoof it half a mile down the beach to employ the services of Bond Beach pavilions.
However, with the advent of summer,the public changing area quickly started to resemble the chimp enclosure at Taronga zoo after Karl Sandilands the second* had indulged in a faecal throwing fiesta.
Add to this the colour of the ocean, post an eastern suburb storm, and it seemed the only person whose urine I wasn’t floating around in, was my own.
Fast forward several years and, after some failed attempts, I am happily indulging the guilty pleasure of peeing in my prene. The only disappointment was that I had been led to believer surfers urinated in their wetsuit to keep warm and that the wee/wetsuit combo somehow equated to a Nasa-like, temperature regulating, super space suit.
Instead you get a brief burst of heat, which lasts for around three seconds, before everything goes cold and gross. Plus it’s not great for neoprene. But, contrary to popular belief, pee is not a highly sought after marinade for the steely-eyed, wide-jawed, pointy-teethed predators of the deep. Sharks will not make a beeline for you because you drank too much coffee this morning and couldn’t quite hold it in.
The good news is we are not alone.
Admittedly the amateur surfer is joined by some fairly hardcore demographics in the umbrella group of ‘those who go to the toilet in weird/disgusting places’ but here they are:
Tour de France cyclists
Think you can cycle for six hours without taking a loo break? Think again. If these muscle machines happily hook themselves up for a little back door blood doping at the hotel, do you really thing they’re going to stop to find a toilet? No these guys roll up their shorts and let it all hang out.
The flight to the International Space Station from Kazahkstan is about six hours, but nipping to the on board bathroom to relieve yourself, before grabbing a beer and a Byron bay cookie from the stewardess is not an option for the intrepid atmospheric adventurer. Although one would hope Virgin Galactic will fix this. In the mean time, those being paid by NASA or Roscomos have to settle for nappies or maximum absorbancy garments. But hey they don’t seem to mind, some even wear them back on earth.
If you fall under this category there is a strong chance you may have a gambling problem. Pokie playing punters, reluctant to leave their machine ahead of the ‘imminent’ payout are believed to have addressed the issue by wearing adult diapers. I haven’t headed to Star City to personally verify this particular form of slot machine enthusiasm and, as I don’t want incontinence ads popping up in my facebook feed for the next six months, I’ve shied off the research. But, according to anecdotal evidence and urban legend, giveaways include; the smell, discarded diapers in casino bathrooms, and the tell-tale white padding visible just above the waist line.
So is anyone really grossed out by peeing in the ocean?
*disclaimer: some names have been changed