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Pre-swell madness!!! Photo from JT Holt.

Pre-swell madness!!! Photo from JT Holt.

 

Yesterday was an interesting day.

If you judge from the above picture, you can see that most of (or maybe the majority of) the surfers in Florida have seemingly called into work, skipped birthdays and anniversaries, and missed the birth of their children in a foolish pursuit of slightly above average waves. This is a frame grab of the people waiting for the swell to fill in.

If this was a cold front swell in November and the waves were ten times better; the crowd would still have been cut in less than half. The main reason they drive out in droves is the fact that the swell has been generated by a hurricane, it is on the news, and they then remember they have a yellowed surfboard collecting dust in the garage.

I have not surfed in 23 years…Who cares! This is a hurricane swell! Where is my old G&S twin fin!

Fools Gold

I arrived very early and the more popular spots were full by 8:30 a.m. I kept heading north. Then I arrived (along with cars pulling in) to a popular spot that for some reason was skipped by the masses…for now.

I was ready. I paddled out. A few waves came my way but guys took off and made it a short distance only to get clobbered. This happened again. And again. So I paddled around some more. More came out. Then I was in the spot.

Paddling. Paddling. Eying down the line I could see the shaky people paddling out. Then one guy cuts to the left up underneath me. Abort! Abort!

So my day was spent with me riding and then having to avoid the guys on the longboards who abandoned ship to avoid the crushing power of the chest high monster. This left their boards twisting back and forth like tethered missiles looking to hit anything in their range.

Regrets?

My biggest regret was that I just did not get out after 40 minutes and go some place else. I could have found some spot. Even 10 goof balls would have been better than 50. Instead, I kept up hope that it would change and get better. After 4 hours, I was beat and even if I drove up to an empty spot; I would have been to tired to enjoy it anyway.

Lesson learned.

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About 1stpeaksteve

The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, writer, and Operational Management specialist; this is an eclectic collection of travel tips, surf coaching, and stories from my past. I also spotlight music that moves me and world events. Thanks for reading!
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