Posts Tagged ‘Tweakers’

This Week’s UCB, the first one of the Spring Quarter was won by Nick the Kook.  He will claim 3 points since I promised that I would double the first blog.  Don’t worry though every week from here till the end of the quarter there will be a double point bonus floating UCB if a topic worthy of such accolade is asked.  There are plenty of opportunities to take the lead.

Kook asked me to write about my favorite parking lot story.  Now this at first did not make sense to me.  Initially I thought maybe he wanted a story about me in a parking lot, sort of like that Sienfeld episode where Jerry and the gang got lost in the parking garage. Then I realized he was talking about the surf parking lot or at least that is what I am going to assume.  I cant think of one particular story at the moment, although there have been many.  What I would love is to use this topic as a forum to explain to the non surfing population just what we are talking about.

By now if you’re an avid non-surfing reader you have learned of many of the mystiques and fallacies of surfing exposed here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  If you have been reading since the myspace days then you are just about an expert.  When you think about it this blog is sort of like stereo instructions (or the handbook of the recently dead from “Beatle Juice”) on the surfing sub culture.

The actual physical act of riding waves is the shortest denomination in the surfing life style.  If you must have a true break down it goes something like this:

10% riding the actual waves (and that is still being generous for the average surfer)

25% travel time to and from the break (may be larger depending on proximity to a ride able wave)

35% Paddling, waiting in the line up, walking back up the beach
30% parking lot

I mean it may work out differently for other folks I don’t really know, but generally I think the above percentages represent most surfers surfing experience well.  So what is all this time that is spent in the parking lot all about?

Every single surf spot on the planet with the exception of remote islands has some kind of parking area near or right on the break.  Depending on the visibility from the lot to the waves depends on the amount of time spent there.  The better the view from the lot the more hanging out that goes on.  Take C-street as a perfect example.  You can sit in your car and watch the action all day, and some people do.  At Rincon on the other hand the parking lot is out of view of the break, thus less stragglers.

Basically a surfer hangs out in the lot before each session from anywhere upward of 5-30 minutes depending on the surf.  If its firing everyone is tearing their suits on as fast as possible.  If it’s tiny then most of us hang around watching for motivation or just trying to kill time by shooting the shit with who ever shows up.  Other times guys will be waiting out the tide or the wind.  I have sat in the parking lot at Emma Wood for over two hours before waiting for a tide push that never came.

Then you have the vets and surf reps who always seem to just hang in the lot all day talking shop, yet only surf like twice a year at best.  After the surf you hang out and recap the session with your bros and other fellow surfers.  Sometimes even enjoy a victory beer or smoke, which happens before the surf as well at times.  I personally think the parking lot is about as much fun as actually being in the water.

Parking lots at surf spots are full of all sorts of characters both the surfers and bystanders.  Here in California you can almost always count on some type of entertainment from either a crazy homeless person, tweaker or a combination of the two.  Good old-fashioned agro localism fights will go down in the lot.  Cars get vandalized and robbed.  Oblivious passer byes walking will ask stupid questions like “is the water cold” or “How is the surfing today?”.

The parking lot is the true celebration of surfing and surf culture.  Im sure the ancient Polynesians hung out in front of their huts doing the same shit we do now while watching the action.  There is heckling, jeers, cheers, grom abuse and everything in between.  Next time your at a surf spot take a moment to observe all the action going on in the parking lot.  I can on most days assure you it is more exciting then what is going on in the water.

There is a parking lot view for you.

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