04 October 2011

My Most Recent Blog Post for My Friend's Site

I've been doing some writing for a site in England of late. Josh, who initially was a guest blogger and has now become a friend, enlisted me to help out with his site. I wrote this post the other night when I was at a loss for what to talk about in my blog post. Josh thinks this is one of my better blog posts, and I agree.

SURF WHERE YOU LIVE—LIVE WHERE YOU SURF

I came up with this title because it looks probable, at least with the U.S. economy barely improving and the job situation seemingly worsening, that I will never make a surf trip. Ever. California and Hawaii share an ocean. They are separated by a plane ride of only a few hours. The plane ticket, while not exactly affordable, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Nevertheless, I will be surfing the beaches that are within driving distance of my home. While others talk about going to far away exotic locales in search of surf, I quietly go about the business of appreciating the surf that’s right in front of me . . . mainly because I have no choice but to do so.

This is not a post about gloom and doom. Woe is not me. One of the things I love about surfing is that the whole point of what we surfers do is to ride waves. No one ever said our goal was to ride the best waves or the biggest waves, the waves in the warmest water or the waves in the bluest ocean.

As Gerry Lopez once said, “Surf is where you find it.”

I am, apparently, a truly local surfer. In other words, I live in Southern California. I surf in Southern California exclusively. Thankfully, California is such a large state with such varied geography that making a day trip to spots like San Onofre and Rincon feels like one has gone on vacation.

Some years ago, one of my surf friends returned from a trip to Hawaii and was talking about the place for days after his return. I, as usual, asked him how it was and what it was like. At that point in my life, I still believed I was financially capable of making a surf trip happen. (As it turns out, I was mistaken.) I was a bit taken aback by his response. Most people talk of their surf expeditions in glowing terms, advising the listener to take a trip to the same place. What did my friend have to say to me when I mentioned my interest in going? “Don’t go. It will fuck with your head.”

He went on to explain that surfing in a tropical climate, with its warm water and beautiful scenery, had ruined him. When he returned to Los Angeles, he was not amused by the cold water and the less than perfect waves.

I’ve never forgotten his warning.

So, I keep it all in perspective. A wave is a wave is a wave is a wave. As long as there is something to surf, I’m happy. If I never manage to leave my little part of the world to surf, so be it. The fact that I can paddle out almost every day reminds me that I’m living a life that makes me happy. And I don’t need a surf trip for that.

8 Comments:

At 10/4/11, 10:47 AM, Blogger Surfing Grandma of OC said...

Here Here SS.. I am in the same boat as you. I always say I am gonna go to Cabo, Hawaii or even Costa Rica. I have places to stay and friends who go all the time. I keep thinking it is in my budget.. someday..It never seems like it is that expensive..but I got to keep reminding myself..OUR family income is not as great as it was 3 years ago..and I am beginning to realize it may never be. WE are so blessed to live in Cali..with the varied beaches to chose from.. every wave is different. Where some people have the same wave over and over. I would rather be stuck in Cali than Florida when it comes to surf.. AND just think of the peeps who are really landlocked in the middle of the country and have never experienced a wave. HOW truly blessed are we.. I think we need to remind ourselves from time to time..Because Sometimes I too get bummed when I hear of my friends who get to travel and surf great waves and great places. But right now I am just gonna focus on where I am and what I am allowed to do..Because really there is something to say for just that. =)

 
At 10/4/11, 8:31 PM, Blogger Travel / Surf Guy said...

Sis - great post and I couldn't agree more with your mate. It does mess with your head.

I had a list of stuff I was going to say here but you really don't want to hear me go on about travel and surf travel suffice to say that surfing in a tropical place really does spoil you and makes it really hard to paddle out in cold water!!!

 
At 10/4/11, 8:53 PM, Blogger The Glad Matter said...

Love the Wave yer with!!!!

 
At 10/5/11, 1:41 PM, Blogger Josh Aggars said...

It is a great post Mary and I stand by that! Spoken from the heart and an excellent read. With money too tight to mention (as simply red once sang) the last thing I need is to go and enjoy a warm water, perfect barrel spot. Best to keep to the cold water flotsam! Ah winter is coming. I'll arm wrestle you for a California winter compared to ours though! :-)

Cheers bud
Josh

 
At 10/6/11, 4:00 PM, Blogger tuskedbeast said...

Good read, reminded me of this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnSVlxdQZjw

 
At 10/6/11, 4:11 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I like that. The Kinks. It does kind of sum up what I was saying, doesn't it?

 
At 10/7/11, 1:23 PM, Blogger tuskedbeast said...

Sometimes if I feel restless/trapped, that song gives a really good, healthy perspective (and it's cool too).

Are you getting waves down there? Fall is here in SF and after a long, crap summer it's starting to "do its thing" again. Don't you love fall?

 
At 10/7/11, 4:36 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

We got some rain. We haven't gotten anything of note in terms of swell. Still, fall is my favorite season for surfing too.

 

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