We are moving along in our surf preparation, though I realize I did a big-time knucklehead move by not bringing my other surfboard back with me when I was last in LA. I have an old somewhat junkie twin fin in my mom's garage that I figured I could just leave out there because it's not that great of a board. It is, however, in decent shape, and it's a usable board that would get us further along in our quest to be New England surf giants. It would have been simple enough now that I know the drill, and since it's smaller than the other board (the nice one) that I brought back, it would have been doable. Plus, that would mean that we'd have three boards and we'd be ready to rock and roll. Oh well, maybe next time. In the mean time, I'm still formulating a plan on this front, so stay tuned for more.
In other areas, I finally got the kids wetsuits, and we're all pretty stoked about this. I ended up getting them new ones online, which is fraught with potential complications, the biggest one being the cost. For obvious reasons I was really trying to find used wetsuits online but even used suits aren't that cheap. I looked on Ebay and Craigslist, and the ones that looked semi-decent cost easily around $50, and when you add in shipping, I was looking at $60-70. There are plenty of used suits for $100-200+, but I wasn't about to go there. That's not even factoring in the state of the suit, including all the urine that's passed through it. Yes, everyone pees in their wetsuit, which is a pitfall of buying used. There's something about something wet right up against your skin that makes this fact a little less palatable.
And that's only if you can find a decent suit that would fit, which isn't easy. Another obvious problem with buying things online is finding something in the right size. I don't know what Ebay's or Craigslist's policies are on returns or exchanges are, but I'm guessing the are not as good as a retailer, if they even exist. I needed a situation where I could exchange the suit for the right size if it didn't fit. Actually, just getting the right size involved a bit of guesswork since the kids have never tried wetsuits on and the size charts don't necessarily correspond with clothing sizes. Boy, it's small miracle that I've even made it this far.
So, factoring in all these complications, I needed to find a place that carried decent wetsuits, preferably new (or at least very good) condition, and with a good selection and a good return policy. Oh yeah, did I mention it had to be reasonably priced, or should I say, cheap? Is that asking for too much? Apparently so. The reality is that I just wasn't going to fulfill all my criteria for a cheap price, which for me meant $5-10. Get real, young man.
I ended up going to a site called LeisurePro, which is actually a scuba shop. They carry a wetsuit brand called Hyperflex, which I'd never heard of, but I'm old and out of touch, so it's not a big deal. The suits got good reviews on the site as well as Amazon, and best of all, they were reasonably priced. The prices wasn't amazing, but was pretty darn good for a new suit (one that got decent reviews on Amazon). In addition to the price, there were other positives that literally sucked me into the purchasing vortex, including free shipping and a good return policy.
I really struggled with this because having never surfed I wasn't sure how much of a commitment to make with the kids, even though I really want them to love the sport. I know I did when I was younger and will surely love it again even though I'm old and falling apart.
Okay, I'm carrying on too much. There is one final piece in this drama that sealed the deal, and it came during my trip to LA. My mom said she would buy the kids new wetsuits as long as I didn't get too crazy with it. I couldn't believe it because she always hated the fact that I surfed since only losers and drug addicts surf... which is kind of true, but not exactly. I was stoked when she said this, and she seemed happy with it, as well. I ordered them that very day.
There was some guesswork in terms of sizing, but the suits arrived and the kids tried them on and they fit. They look like surfers, I am so stoked. Now we just have to wait until the water gets above 50 degrees to hit the waves. We are currently too busy to make the trip the coast, but in about a month things will calm down and warm up, which means surf's up, dude.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Sundown Ski and Surf Shop for the pic.