SURFING BEGINNINGS >
I thought it only appropriate that I learn surfing on the islands where the sport was invented.
So when I first climbed aboard a longboard in Waikiki four years ago I realized two things:
(1) Catching a wave is exhilarating.
(2) I'm out of shape.
I've taken lessons all over the place, but owe the most growth to my time spent with Bill Sharp and his crew at the Huntington Beach Surf School. Getting 1:1 instruction and then being allowed multiple repeat visits to pound their boards into the surf were key elements in me getting better.
In the summertime, traffic and weekends permitting, I can be found bobbing on a board back at Huntington Beach, staring into the horizon, wondering if my skills are a better fit for eating pancakes at Ruby's Diner at the end of the pier rather than down below in the water, gasping for sets. Otherwise, I am a wet-suit toting phantom, haunting the beaches of Mill Valley, California in the winter, desperately seeking (more) lessons.
SURFING BUCKET LIST ITEMS (Completed)
1) Channel the spirit of the Duke and surf a longboard in Waikiki (2011)
2) Surf the southside of Huntington Beach Pier (2017)
Squeezed into a rash guard in 2010 in Singapore and got my surf on in a wave machine before paddling around in 75 F degree weather in December. It was my first experience in a wave simulator.
A couple hours + a broken finger later, I was on my way. I was so stoked I didn't realize my finger was broken until I returned home (probably too many Singapore Slings at the historic Raffles Long Bar, where I went to celebrate my waviness).
BODY SURFING IN CHILE >
Hawaii was my first stand-up wave, but my wave riding extended more than a decade prior, when with a surfer-tour guide, I bodyboarded with classmates off the coast of northern Chile. I wasn't even trying to catch a way (nor did I know what catching on entailed). I was simply flailing around on a body board and suddenly, I was being propelled forward by the forces of the sea. I left with a scratched up chest, badly sunburned shoulders, and a memory of something resembling flying.
AND THERE WAS THAT SKATEBOARDING PHASE... >
My summary: ocean water is kinder to your skin and bones than downhill grades of asphalt on hot Tennessee summers.
SURFING ADVENTURES (TO USE A STRONG WORD) ARE CHRONICLED ON MY TUMBLR PAGE >
...a combination of surf reading I've found interesting, a few adventure shots and general surf-culture inspiration.