I’m Surfing!! …um…I Guess.



Bottom turning into the night!

Bottom turning into the night!


Surfing is like golf. There is so much technique to be learned and so much to master. So to be a decent surfer; one has to learn the elements that allows one to advance up the scale to glory. These elements can include style, wave knowledge, and surfboard control.

So all you need is a giant-sized body of water and some wind and presto! You are surfing!

So what do you do when the giant-sized body of water is not producing waves or it is to far away. Simple! You partake in one of the many sports that are “surfing like”.

Hooking one at Typhoon Lagoon. No sharks or long paddles but it is surfing.

Hooking one at Typhoon Lagoon. No sharks or long paddles but it is surfing.

In my life time I have surfed in a wave pool which is true surfing and have also ridden a Flowrider which is a poor replication of surfing. You see, my surfboard has big fins and I don’t stand on my board and ride backwards to meet up with the wave. So the experience was quite foreign to me. I could do some basic “surfing” but a snowboarder would have felt more comfortable on the board than I did.

Recently, I have been out on the lake riding my friends’ Wakesurf board. It is super fun and after a day I was pumping along like a champ. However, I quickly realized that this offshoot of surfing would not produce a Kelly Slater in the ocean surfing realm for many reasons.

This short video is of my first time doing this. We are still trying to figure out the set up to produce a good wave. So a lot of our time consists of us getting up and riding and riding and riding…all the while trying to adjust the boat’s speed to produce the best wake. We stop. We make adjustments and do this over and over again.

So this video was the end of a long series of rides and my legs were starting to burn. That is why I dug my rail. We also have ridden several other boards and have gone out more recently so there is a large improvement over this first day. I am looking forward to experiencing the tiny feeling of surfing that it gives me.

Yet…It is not like surfing to me. I hate to break it to my land locked surf brothers who are trying to get the stoke. You see, surfing involves much more than just riding a wave.  There are no waves to gawk at as you paddle out. No jumping dolphins. No rocks to scamper across to get to the main break. No torrents of rushing water sweeping you down the beach.

There are no sweeping rail turns. No big moves on the close out and no air drops down the face.

There is no feeling of dread as you watch a big wall of water crash down in front of you and you grab your rails to duck dive.

Yup, I want to get better at Wakesurfing!

But only as something to do on a morning that I can not get to the beach.






About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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5 Responses to I’m Surfing!! …um…I Guess.

  1. Back in the early ’80s I rode my surf board behind my brother’s boat, but didn’t have the wake size to “free ride” so I held on to the rope…wish I would’ve marketed that idea. My daughter has done this type of wake surfing and loved it.

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      It is kind of funny to see how much has been invested into what was once just a distraction sandwiched between a day of water skiing and riding Hydroslides (those things really bit the dust!). Now they have special boards and boats that are made to create a larger wake. If you would have marketed the idea back then…you probably would have got a jump start on creating the Snuggie!

  2. So many different opinions on this. I think good wave pools are a fine substitute, if you’re land locked or the surf is down. I wasn’t convinced when watching the Flowrider either. Still looking for a tidal bore here in Oregon… I’m sure there out there.

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      I have heard of one in Oregon I do believe. The Flowriders were very un-surfing like…no fin. Pivoting off the wrong foot. Riding backwards up the face. A board of sorts and water was all it really had to do with surfing.

      As I said, surfing is about the wave but part of being a surfer involves a lot more. Paddling, knowledge of a changing environment, and marine life are part of the experience. You miss out on that with other substitutes.

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