This is difficult for even me to believe, but we have been surfing fairly regularly this summer - these are our boards. I would never have believed that we'd be surfing at all living in New England, but it's happening, and I, for one, am completely stoked about it. We have hit a bit of a lull in the past week or so because of various obligations, including family camping trips and mountain biking. However, before that, we were hitting the beach a couple of times a week, and it's not an easy trip. This is all the more amazing when you consider that during my last years in LA, when I lived in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, less than a mile from the sand, I never went surfing. It takes about two hours to get to Hampton Beach, but the trip gets easier with time. I recall driving for two hours to find waves when I lived in California. This time around we aren't looking for waves because we don't really have the luxury to be picky, but it's worked out pretty well so far.
The kids have thus far been willing to go along with it, but I'm not sure if both of them will maintain their enthusiasm, at least not one of them. The other, however, seems willing to ride this out until completion, which means actually shredding the waves. I see the potential is there, it's really just a question of time and practice, and I think we have a couple of months left in our surfing season, more if we decide to get really hardcore - headgear, gloves, and surfing in 45-50 degree water. I'm not sure if that's going to happen.
Hampton Beach (HB) has turned out to be a good place to surf, as well. The waves are tiny, almost non-existent, but big enough to go out and practice catching them and standing. When I surfed a lot in my youth I probably wouldn't have even bothered with them, but I have no room for such snobbery in my life today. We are in the nascent phase of our surfing careers (I'm basically starting over again, it's been 15 years) so tiny is big enough for us. In fact, one day the swell picked up and was breaking about shoulder/head high, and it felt like we were at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii; we were paddling like crazy, but what a workout.
HB is good also because the sandbar extends out pretty far, so the water isn't too deep. In fact, many of the people out there stand while waiting for the waves. Another bonus is that while the waves are small, they are pretty reliable on a day to day basis. So while many surfers wait anxiously for a big hurricane swell to hit, we can get some semblance of a wave on any given day. If anything, when the hurricane swell hits, we'll probably be watching from the beach.
Finally, and this is important, unlike learning to surf in California, where a lot of the surfers and punks, most of the surfers out there at HB are at the same level as us and pretty friendly. I've found even the shredders are nice. Most of the people out there are longboarders who are just learning, and though when I was surfing in California I loathed longboards, out there in HB they are pretty cool, so I'm in no position to cop an attitude.
All in all things have fallen into place and I for one and ready to hit the beach again. We are all geared up and ready to go, so let's go. One last note, it's a long drive for us, but we have met a few surfers that come to HB from Burlington. We've seen them there twice. How cool is that? That's another couple hours of driving for them - talk about hardcore, you gotta love it.
Until the next time, thanks for reading.