I started in 1975, mainly surfing Avalon and Stone Harbor, NJ, as I grew up spending my summers there. One day, I was talking to a girl I worked with, and she said: "you're a surfer? We have this big old surfboard in our garage." I asked her if it was for sale. She called her mother and mom said "If he comes to pick it up, it's his." I drove over right after my shift ended, and became the proud owner of a vintage 10"0" Weber Performer. The thing weighed a ton, but nine times out of ten it was the board I would surf. This was in the 80s, before the longboard resurgence. I've always had some shorter pointier boards in my quiver, but I've just enjoyed longboarding more.
Work has taken me inland, and I've retired the Weber, and replaced it with the board in my avatar. There are some waves that I would not attempt riding the big board on, but I have surfed it in some respectable hurricane surf, and it is nothing short of amazing. I only get to surf a few times a year. So, yes I'm one of those old guys who will sit outside waiting on a log and pick off the big waves, but I'm NOT one of those guys who will pick off every big wave that rolls through. I'm often one of the oldest (now 48) in the lineup, but it is fun to see the instant respect you gain by bombing down the critical section of an outside wave on a ten foot board.
Man, now I don't feel so old. I started durfong two years ago at 48 and two years later I ain't so great, but I moved up to 9'4" fiberglass WRV from the beginner boards. I have been catching some nice waves in Starthmere and my boys are changing the outside fins to smaller ones to help me turn better. I don't have delusions of any kind, but starting at this age I will be happy to catch clean, waist-high waves into my 60s. I have to thank my much younger friends who get a kick of helping the old guy out and making me feel like I still belong in a young man's sport.
it definitely is, every time I paddle out I feel like I'm 12 again. my legs and arms are going to have to fall off before I ever hang it up. Surfing gives me something that nothing else I have ever done has and I am thankful everyday that I am healthy enough to do it! Keep the Stoke!
The fact that I'm old slapped me in the face the other day when this skinny little tow-headed kid who used to struggle to paddle out on a chest high day now surfs better than me and has a full beard.
My slap in the face came this Winter in Puerto Rico when my 10 year old son and 12 year old nephew sat at the point at Marias on a head high day and caught set waves with the locals. It just seemed like yesterday we were pushing them into shore-break on the foamies....