THIS MONTH’S CHALLENGE: I’m a 14-year-old surfer from San Diego and I was wondering: what is the best way to build your confidence back up after a bad wipeout or injury? Kevin Jara

That’s a whale of a problem you gots there, Kevin. But ‘ol Blackshorts won’t try to jibe you by pretending he knows the feeling. Oh, I’ve wanted for wind, wine and even womenin me day. But me sail’s always billowing with confidence. A seasoned seaman will tell you that’s the very secret to survival when seas get rough. So will any young buck worth his salt. “I broke my leg surfing Backdoor last February,” says Hawaiian charger Sean Moody. “Shattered the bones and was out for the whole year. A lot of people, when they get injured, they stay away from the ocean. I did the exact opposite: at first I was videoing all of my friends when I was in a full cast, and as soon as I was in my soft cast, I started bodysurfing. Then, once I started surfing again, I didn’t let what happened hold me back; I just threw myself over the ledge. So the best advice is to stay close to the ocean. And whatever, you do: don’t sit in your house and feel sorry for yourself.”

Aye, Sean, it’s just like me ol’ ship’s sawbone used to say: let the sea lick your wounds before your wounds lick you.