(Jan. 10, 2020) Surfing and traveling seem to go hand in hand and we’re coming up on a good time of year to take a trip.
So much of our economy is warm weather, resort and summer oriented.
A lot of businesses will close for a time period in the winter and the opportunity becomes more open to go off to other spots, even if only a slight bit warmer, even if only to break up that extended winter period.
So much is available. The Caribbean, Florida, West Coast, Mexico, Central America. Hawaii is always prime. Even a short sojourn to Southern North Carolina can be enough.
As long as it’s warm enough to not need wetsuit gloves, that seems to be the real test of wearing wetsuit gear.
So in that sense, it doesn’t need to be tropical though a little shot of warmth is quite welcomed, especially if there’s been a certain regularity to your sessions, as if a warmer spot has been earned by tolerating those many cold water goouts that ostensibly have already been had.
Now there’s a certain assumption in that enough funds have been put away to pay for all of this possibility. Plus, there’s a time factor.
Even if funds can be had it won’t do much good if the time isn’t there and available.
Some employment does require one to pay close attention of a year-round basis, so in many instances time can become the most valuable thing.
There even seems to be a sort of hierarchy as to one’s status as in the more travel, the more experience, and the more prowess, all adding up to one’s surfing knowledge and hopefully one’s ability.
This isn’t absolute of course, but trips off the East Coast seem to go pretty far with this train of thought.
Florida seems to be first considered in that accessibility by road is more easily available. The Caribbean is probably next in line, especially if a warmer destination is desired.
Back in the day when the world contest was recognized as attracting world class talent, Puerto Rico became quite the focal point for many an East Coast surfer.
It sort of opened that particular island up in the minds of the traveler and also encouraged exploration of the many other islands and good surf spots in that part of the world.
To work hard at one or more jobs in the summer or even part time while attending school was a regular routine.
If saved, the funds became available with time between school semesters to get out there.
For those not attending school, posting up at an area with good surf could maybe be accomplished for an extended time period.
Attending school in a surf rich area could be an option for some with various colleges and universities actually getting a reputation for “surf students.”
Some of these destinations can almost become ritual in setting up places to stay or arranging for transportation and equipment.
To be able to leave a board or two in particular winter locales or to arrange for a local shaper to have a quiver ready for a winter campaign of surfing is probably more typical than realized.
The key to all of this seems to be to maintain some semblance of regularity.
I like to say that “to keep doing it, you have to keep doing it.” Surfing requires a certain amount of conditioning and stamina and the more often it’s done the more probable one will be able to continue at least to a reasonable level.
If that logic takes you to a distant spot, all the better. Even just a short while can make a difference. Or even a multi-block bicycle ride, wearing wetsuit gear with board in hand could fill the bill just as well.
– Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner
of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City