13 September 2010

Learning how to surf: a lifestyle, not an activity

Learning to surf:

The best time to surf is the November thru January time of the year

The best time to learn to surf is October and November

(warmer and good swells)

Learning in Bolinas: *The Best Place to Learn to Surf!*


Almost all of the west coast's beaches face due west. This creates a "beach" break. Waves pop up anywhere at any time. A few beaches face north or south Like Santa Cruz and Bolinas. Waves tend to hit the outer most point and "get in line" and "slow down". The opposite is a "fast break". In Bolinas there is an outer reef that adds to the protection and there is also an even rise of the shallow beach. The opposite is a "reef" break as in Pipeline and Mavericks when a sudden incline brings waves immediately onto the surface. A point break is less likely to cause "riptide". And a shallow rise is less likely to cause an "undertow"

The sandy "bottom" of Bolinas is much kinder on mammalian skin than that of Hawaii's coral "bottom" or Mavrick's rocky bottom.

There are two types of storms in CA. A southern storm comes from Hawaii and Tahiti. Nicknamed Pinapple Express their warmth packs a wallop of humidity and large drops. These guys bring in Humungous swells(research Mavericks). The Northerlys are arid and cold. Best to ski or snowboard on the "light and fluffie" that these guys bring in. Watch the weather and choose your ride!

Wind- An "offshore" wind is blowing out to sea and will "hold up" a wave making a better than average "curl". An "onshore" wind will knock down a wave also called being "blown-down" and is in your face when looking for the right "set". Winds travel in circles so traveling north or south on the beach will eventually get you to the place you want to be. (Picture the arms of a hurricane with backdrafts at the end of each arm)

Gusty wind is less fun than a smooth consistent wind but affects kite and wind surfers much more.

The "head" of a wave- the part of the wave that begins to fall onto itself

The "swell" is a wave that has not surfaced

The "shoulder(s)" is the part of the wave that begins to break to one or both sides of the "head".

right of way- the person closest to the head in a position to "catch" a wave

"dropping in"- taking the right of way away from someone (usually a friend)

"sharking" - taking the right of way from someone- to be a Jerk

The surfer's "line-up" usually found at a point break, the vague line of surfers waiting for a "set".(not to be confused with the waves "lining" up)

Waves come in clusters of six to eight mostly. This order forms a "set" of waves. Sitting out small sets is easy when you are "waiting for your set to come in".

Face- the smooth, rideable part of a wave

Falls- the front, top crashing part of a wave(goin over the falls- BAD)

Pearl- to almost die while discovering the "bottom" up close and personal like. (non-surfing term= drill bit)

Soup- the foam left after a wave crashes, hard to ride cos u are not bouyant in it

Bonk- when there is no swell or rideable wave. "surfs up" v "surf's bonk"

Book- something to bring when the surf is bonk. real surfers will change out and read in ...

Civi's or Peds... civilian clothing or pedestrian outfits. (use not as common as the above)

rip tides and under tows---the pathophys-

Waves are energy dissipation. In the river the wave stays still the water moves. In the ocean the waves move the water stays in place. A wave uses gravity and then friction (on the bottom) and then itself as a wave courses back to sea after the crash. Sometimes these outgoing streams "line-up" and create a rip tide. In Three D, with the"bottom", it can create an undertow.

Google how to avoid either prior to your first session especially if you are prone to "Freaking Out"- which is coming out of the soup without smoothing your hair back or worse coming up for air with your mouth first, blowing out audibly, and inhaling. Really cool surfers will float lazily to the top. Forehead, eyes, nose then have exhaled on the way up and inhale only when the chin exits the water. Just like on Baywatch.

Dude- any one who can surf or trick other surfers to think they can surf

Dudette-THIS IS NOT A SURF LINGO- someone from Texas brought it thinking he was a Dude and he was NOT. He was "sketch".

Yes surfers use wax. A very good and funny wax is Mr Zog's Sex wax. Yes you can chew it as gum but chiklets are better. Hockey players, kayakers, drummers also use sex wax. "best for your stick" was banned in many parts of US giving rise to it's popularity.

First rule of surfing- If you snooze you lose

Second rule- (albeit losing ground on this one)- best to be happy than right or "let it go, dude"

Third rule- if it'll matter in a hundred years than it outta matter now. refer to rule two for the reverse. or "better hold on"

Bohdi- someone who can practice all three rules at the same time: Timing, enthusiasm and discipline.

Surfing is a lifestyle, not an activity!

Most Excellent Resources:




Two Mile Surf Shop