Friday, November 8, 2013

You Never Know When It's Going To Happen

One of the attractions of surfing, probably what has kept me going my whole life, is that you never really know what any given trip will be like. Recently, we had a week at Cocoa Beach and it was a week of fun waves and weather. I was out every day, surfing until I had nothing left.
It could have easily been a week of rain or wind, or most likely in Florida, total flatness.

In fact, I haven't been back for 3 weeks because of bad weather. Even this weekend, we are expecting 25 mph winds and an ocean that looks like a soupbowl. Surfers have to take it when they can get it, and there are many stories of surfers getting jobs that allow them come and go with the swells.
One thing that helped me a lot for where we live, is having the paddleboard. Many days, the surf is too mushy with our sandbreaks and the paddleboard makes the difference. The volume and the ability to get exactly where I need to be, allows me to catch many more waves. The downside is the experience is not smooth as surfing, but it is close. My decision on what to ride is based on how deep the tide is, and the level of chop. Semi-choppy conditions make paddleboard surfing way more difficult for me and at that point, the surfboard is supreme.
The paddleboard excels in conditions where the outside is barely breaking and most surfers are unable to get into the wave until it gets to the inside.
Surfing in Florida means being ready for small mushy conditions, and you can find more and more surfers that have a longboard or paddleboard in their quiver. My last resort is a beach cruiser bicycle for those days when there is nothing to ride at all. A bit of flatwater paddling followed up by a nice ride up and down the beach on the bike makes up for the skunked feeling I used to get, where I just turned around and drove home, cursing the lack of surfable waves.

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