Hesse slipped his board into the rack on the side of his bike and swept down the Russell Street hill. If he was lucky he’d get an hour in the water before dark. May was the best month for waves, with gentle offshore breezes and in-between-sized swells, like the whole coast was drawing breath before the arrival of winter. He loved this feeling of flying down the hill, with the promise of waves ahead of him and his weekend homework buried in his backpack in his bedroom.
School was done for the week and the next two days he’d be tied up working in the surf shop. That didn’t worry him, though—the water was crowded on weekends with surfers from the city. But Friday arvos were golden: just the local crew, the tradies finishing early and the schoolkids racing each other from the bus stop to the beach.
He reached the corner and swung left onto Ocean Road, past the general store with its two petrol bowsers standing out front like sentries, and on to the surf shop. It was a converted mechanic’s workshop, a big barn of a place that Theo Turnbull had been running forever.