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Archive for February, 2013

Loaded up and ready to go on a miraculous journey to find two foot slop.

Loaded up and ready to go on a miraculous journey to find two foot slop.

Do you want to know how long I surfed for today?  If you check the surflog it says one hour and a half.   In reality I surfed for almost five hours today.  The bulk of my session was not spent in the water, but in my car burning gas, adding to the size of my already huge carbon foot print.  What am I talking about?  Car surfing the most annoying repulsive ugly side of surfing there is.

In a perfect world the waves would be all time down the street from your house where with in a mile stretch you would some how have a right and left point, a slab reef, and a sick ass beachie.  I have yet to find such a place and if it does exist you can bet your ass no one is talking about it and are definitely not drawing you and I a map to it.  Instead of this fantastical situation surfers are stuck having to make do with what their backyard has to offer.

If you pulled up to this wave there would be no need to car surf any farther.

If you pulled up to this wave there would be no need to car surf any farther.

How do we define the word backyard?  In the the very beginning in ancient Hawaiian times I assume it would have been the break directly in front of your village.   Considering how primitive surfboards were back then I am sure just about any easy riding wave would suffice.  Then again they say the Polynesians traveled great lengths over many years in their out riggers.  Could it be they were just cruising around the south pacific trying to find a wave that was not closed out or too windy, small etc.?

When I was under the age of sixteen my backyard was the few miles I could access on my bike.  Back then after riding three miles to get to the beach in the dead of winter I was pretty much going to just jump in at first spot that was ride-able.  Then I got a car and everything changed.  Now my backyard was only limited to the amount of time available to me, the distance I was willing to drive and the amount of money in my pocket.  It was at that moment I became a car surfer.

Car surfing for those of you who are of the non-surfing variety or novice level is the act of a surfer driving around looking for waves to surf.   This can happen in a span of distance of ten miles or 150 miles or more depending.  Take where I live here in Santa Barbara for example.  Everyone here is a car surfer.  Our coastline is very dynamic and very spread out.  Add in the fact that we have a very small and selective swell window for most if not all of our spots and you will find that the amount of time and distance you will travel in your car to be astounding.  I can’t even imagine my numbers here.  Take this into account.  I bought my car in March of 2011 and it only had around 12,000 miles on it.  Since then the odometer reads 52,000 miles.  That is 40,00 miles in just under two years.  All put on with the sole purpose of scoring waves.

My asphalt surf board of choice.  At 38 miles per gallon and the rising price for gas you better believe I love this car.

My asphalt surf board of choice. At 38 miles per gallon and the rising price for gas you better believe I love this car.

I think I can safely say I fall into the category of hardcore car surfer.  Most times when I car surf, eight out of ten times to be precise,  I still paddle out and surf.  Just because you car surf does not guarantee you are going to find good surf conditions.  On the contrary most times the reason you are driving around in the first place is because the waves absolutely suck and you are trying to find the best bad waves on offer that day.  Lets face it when the surf is good at the first spot you check how likely are you to move on to another, very rarely.  When I pull up to Rincon and its on I am out there, no questions asked.

Since the waves suck and that is the reason you are car surfing to begin with there is always the chance of spending all that time and not actually surfing at all.  When that becomes a habit you are a car surfing champion.  I have sadly known plenty of surfers in my life who spend all day driving around everyday and never actually surfing.  Its terrible I know.  It is for that reason I created the rule “If I drive then I surf”.  What happens is your motivation is low to begin with because of the sub par conditions and every stop you make with more sub par surf wears you down till finally you just paddle out at some random terrible spot just to get a wave, or drive back to the first place you checked (usually the case in my experience) or not surf at all.

Isn’t surfing an amazing sport.  This is why I write these little insider blogs.  Some one has to tell it like it is.  The surfing world is not all sunny beaches,  girls in bikinis and perfect crystal clear water barrels.  Ninety percent of the time it is nothing but frustration, heart ache and let down.  Can’t wait for my next car surf session tomorrow.  With bad winds and small conditions predicted it should be an epic drive!

When you find those terrible waves the least you can do is make the most of them.

When you find those terrible waves the least you can do is make the most of them.

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