"I'm competitive," Joyce says. "They're not. Of course, anything you do so much, you get sick of it. I keep trying to think of excuses for not going out there, but then I really feel guilty, although I'm good enough now so that I can practice by just sitting in the house thinking about surfing. The worst thing about surfing is you don't have a coach, someone to push you."
"I've tried to coach her," says Walter, whom Joyce occasionally calls The Mouth. "I tell her things she should do, but she never does them."
"I analyze my surfing," Joyce says. "The other girls don't. They're really dummies. The better you get, the harder you have to push yourself. I think I'm going to have an ulcer. You wouldn't enjoy surfing if you did it like I do, but I do. I have to be the best. It's a really big deal with me. I don't know why. You'd have to analyze me, I guess. It's inborn in me. I'm not that good yet. There's no reason I can't be as good as the boys. If I didn't think I was considered the best I'd quit."
Indeed, the gravest disappointment of Joyce's life came in her junior year at San Clemente High, when she lost an election—in fact two elections—for student body president. The first election was declared invalid when it was discovered that her opponent's supporters had stuffed the ballot box. "What a ding he was!" says Joyce. "What a mess! What a scandal!" She says that when the election was rescheduled her supporters were not informed it was taking place and did not vote.
"My daughter's real weird," says Walter. "She wants to win. The other girls couldn't care less."
"I'm the only surfer I know of that trains," Joyce says. "Surfers aren't athletes yet. So far the sport's not that competitive, not that precise. You don't have to be in shape. You can stay up late, smoke, drink and still pull through. Most surfers couldn't make it in any other sport. They don't have that much endurance."
Joyce doesn't drink or smoke and she goes to bed early. She has never been to what she calls a "rock-out" or a "really radical" party. When she was 9 Walter told her he'd give her $500 if she hadn't smoked by the time she was 21. She can earn another $500 by not drinking before 21, except on special occasions.
Joyce doesn't wear baggies or swimsuits adorned with so-called competition stripes or sweat shirts stenciled with HALEIWA STRAINED POI Or 65% FEWER CAVITIES, COORS. (There's a surfer from Huntington Beach, Calif. who wears trunks that his wife made out of an old tablecloth. They feature all the latest fads: stripes, three colors and flowers. He tops off the effect with a full, curly beard.) Joyce's mother makes her daughter's bathing suits out of spinnaker cloth. They are modified bikinis cut low under the arms to preclude chafing. For contests, however, she wears suits made by Catalina, which sponsors her.
Joyce doesn't use surfing jargon, what she calls "all that ridiculous, asinine language you hear in the movies." Its usage is most prevalent among "road surfers," kids who tool up and down the Pacific Coast Highway with their status symbols—surfboards—on top of their cars and rarely get wet. In fact, Joyce doesn't even go to surfing movies. "I wouldn't waste my money on them," she says. "Dibby tells me about them." Joyce says there are only three In terms currently used by "real surfers." These are "stoked," which means very enthusiastic or wound up; "jazzed," which means more or less the same thing; and "bitchin'," which means good, as in "That was a bitchin" wave." An utterance such as, "You wanna go out there and turn on or you wanna go out and catch a mess of little stuff and mess off?" she considers "really too much." Says Joyce: "I've never seen a sport where guys so horrible talk so big. They don't surf much, but they sure talk about it. I surf so much that I don't want to talk about it. Boy, what dings they are!" What are dings? "A ding," she says, "is a doughnut." Oh.
Joyce has little use for the weekly TV surfing programs emanating from Los Angeles, and she doesn't think the surfing magazines are so hot either. "They're hard up for news all the time, I guess," she says. "They're full of stupid stories and stuff."