Surf Report

(Aug. 30, 2019) “Well, the sun’s not so hot in the sky today, I can see summertime slipping away,” from James Taylors’ “September Grass,” written by John I. Sheldon.

Coming to a beach town near you, the off- season.

Yes indeed folks, it’s a sort of bittersweet milestone for this area. An opportunity to catch one’s breath and rejoice, but also one of sorrow and dismay that the living-is-easy summertime period of the year is winding down and coming to a close.

The truth is, it takes a while. The day’s heat and humidity eventually gives way to warmth and drier air.

The nights will become crisp and pleasant as opposed to drippy and sticky and strained air conditioning systems can be turned off in favor of opened windows.

The beach as well as the streets will become less populated, less crowded, thus more inviting and welcoming.

Some of the best news is the lifting of surfing restrictions. No more before 10 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. rule.

The two surfing beach areas will no longer be needed. Instead, the entire length of Ocean City will, once again, be open to surfing.

A word of water safety and social consciousness here. With the ranks of the beach patrol greatly lessened it’s a good idea to watch out for swimmers in the water.

Not only to not run into them, but also to assist them if in distress. Many a surfer has helped a swimmer in trouble back to shore.

A surfboard, short, long, or in between, is a great floatation device and can be used as a rescue apparatus.

In the not so distant past, the post-Labor Day period seemed stark and lifeless as if sidewalks and boardwalks were rolled up and everyone went off to some other place.

These days, a lot of people know of the secret of the fall season and utilize the months that are still so easy weather wise, coupled with warm ocean temperatures.

With so many car and motorcycle gatherings the weekends are filled with activity. Heads in the beds are welcomed in hotels and condos as are seats of eating and drinking establishments all around town.

Locals don’t really get their home back until maybe November or so.

And what of the surf? The potential is greater with hurricane season at or near its peak, but the vagaries of the ocean can never be totally relied upon.

The key is to keep a watchful eye and catch it when you can. The astute surfer knows that there’s always the possibility.

Sometimes, a nicely formed, waist-high wave can be just as satisfying as an overhead grinder.

Soak it up. Enjoy it if you can, the much anticipated fall/off-season. Ya gotta love it.

– Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City.

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