The author grew up in Cocoa Beach, Florida and life was idyllic. He and his family lived two blocks off the beach in the town made as famous by “I Dream of Jeannie” as by the space program. He was never very good in the organized sports in school, so he was drawn to surfing (they did have a high school surf club). He toted his 9’6” James and O’Hare down to the beach regularly and waited patiently for the Atlantic Ocean to cough up the occasional swell and, hopefully, ride the nose back into the beach break. He and his friends gained much from this sport imported from the beaches of that exotic far away land called California. Friendship, exercise, solitude, meditation, intellectual sparring and mental agility all came from the hours spent on our boards, eyes trained to the east for on-coming swells.
After high school, most of of the gang headed to college. After being land locked in Tallahassee at FSU, employment drew him back to the Space Coast where he opted for the then popular shorter board. Surfing had become a solitary sport and interrupted by work and other grown up priorities. Jobs took him to Iran, Holland, California (but nowhere near a beach) Texas and Atlanta. His lone board collected dust as he was destined to be quarantined to dry land.
A great opportunity then presented itself. At middle age (defined as being almost 50) he was offered a position in Santa Barbara, California. Once he walked barefoot on the beach and shooed off the seagulls while he watched the waves breaking on the shore, he knew he had found his place. Worked and surfed when he could (although the Channel Islands block a lot of the swell and make surfing in Santa Barbara a bit of challenge) and traveled extensively around the world for his employer).
At 53 he retired and a new surfing sport was emerging. Laird Hamilton popularized the sport of Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP). Similar to surfing, standing on a board that is relatively long and wide, a paddle is used to propel the surfer and the board. The momentum created makes it easier to catch the outside swells. He immediately added a couple of SUP boards to his quiver and is now once again surfing every day, in Pismo Beach.
The purpose of this blog will be all things surfing. Enjoy!