There's this look that surfers in the line-up give to a new surfer paddling into the line-up. It's that glance out of the corner of the eye over the shoulder. When the new surfer appears kooky, there's a discernible stiffening movement and maybe a wary snubbing. I especially love it when my friends in the line-up do it to me when I bring out the hat for the first time in the winter season. Then, when I get closer and they can hear my loud laugh, jaws drop and shoulders relax and then they make fun of my hat.
Yes, I have a neoprene hat that looks like this. But this is not the hat I wear. I wore this neoprene hat about three times last winter. I was looking for something that would help keep the water out of my ears because I felt like the cold winter water was starting to really damage my hearing. I wandered in and out of stores and browsed online for options but I was feeling a little vain. But then one of my favorite flirty guys at one of my least favorite surf shops said I looked "cute" in it, so I bought it. (Sound like a guy, don't I?)
In the water, I disliked how the neoprene earflaps created a weird echo-chamber against my head. And I looked like a dork. So I stopped wearing it.
Instead, this is the hat I wear. (Actually, this is not my hat, the hat looks a lot like this, but there's a poofy ball at the top.) I wear a knit wool cap with earflaps that tie under my chin. I found it at the back of a drawer full of clothes I moved over from the East coast. It keeps my head warm and keeps most of the impact of the water from shooting into my ears. I decided that if I was going to look like a dork in the water, I'd prefer looking like a TOTAL dork. The choice is purposeful and I feel if you intend extreme dorkiness, then you can cross the line into being hip. And that's what I'm all about. Being hip. Oh, yeah.