Surfboard surfing? 4 years ago. paddled out on my son's old NSP fish. My son's instructions were to paddle, then stand up. I had the leash on my front foot. Belly rode the white wash.
6 months later paddled out into the line-up on my very own 8' 6" Ricky Carroll, dropped in on some pretty good surfers, and straight handed it all the way to the beach and felt like the Big Kahuna. I apologize to those I offended in my early days of kookness. The good surfers of CB were kind enough to not slash my tires, or break the windows of my vehicle.
After begging my parents to let me try surfing / rent a surfboard every time we were near a beach (and being told no) as a kid, when I was in my early 20s I stood up in some whitewater on a soft-top (Bic?) rental at Playa de los Cerritos, Baja... Christmas Eve, 2004ish? But then after meeting a bunch of surfer douches (not saying all surfers are, I just happened to meet a bunch of rich, selfish, self-indulgent, hedonistic, obnoxious, useless surfers -- most of whom also happened to be my in-laws) surfing kinda lost its appeal. Then saw my stepson catching 4-5' waves on a bodyboard with no fins, bouncing/flying across the surface of the water, going no-handed while making big turns across the faces, and I was hooked on bodyboarding.
Have to say, pretty much all the surfers I meet in the lineup on the East Coast are super nice guys, not at all like my in-laws -- the only annoying person I met was a ~12yo grom in Newport who cut me off when I was on the shoulder of 6-7 nice waves in a row, but he was tearing it up and making such awesome aerial bailouts etc that I really couldn't complain, even when he would follow me no matter how far down the lineup I paddled and wait just inside so he could cut me off again.
Grew up spending summer days at the beach, was a boogie boarder as early as I can remember. First it was the all foam boogies, then as we got older we got slick bottom ones that let us ride up on the sand and stand-up skimboard. Riding waves at Jones Beach meant going straight on shorepound waves dodging through think summertime crowds. Back before the internet surf report, can still remember the anticipation of the moment when the ocean appeared above the horizon line made by the sand and the waves first appeared. Big waves and I'd be in the water with my friends all day, flat and we were bummed out playing football on the beach instead. Having no exposure to surf culture, we eventually figured out you were supposed to ride down the line by looking at the photos of dudes shredding big tropical waves that were shoved into the shrink-wrapped boards we would buy from Sports Authority.
Discovered Long Beach, LI at some point in my early teens, where the waves broke on sandbars and people were stand-up surfing. Started bodyboarding there when I could, now wearing fins and trying to get my parents to drive me out when an approaching hurricane was coming.
Being a snowboarder and skater always wanted to surf, but know no surfers and had no $ to buy a board. One day I go to my friends house and he has an 8' G&S in his backyard that his older cousin gave him. Board was completely browned and weighed a ton; the glass all around the tail was completely missing. Took it to my father's garages and filled in the gap with a caulk gun. About 16 yrs old now. Got my mom to drive me to the beach and took a lesson with Unsound Surf. First wave the guy told be to go for, I went, popped up and rode all the way to shore! Tried taking the board out a few more times, could catch waves but would dig the rail in every time I tried to turn down the line - was trying to turn it like a snowboard. Decided it was the board and not me, and next summer went to Aloe Cal Cruz to check out the used board selection. Guy tried to sell me on a thick, beefy shortboard he said would be good for beginners, but it had hot pink glass-ons and I wasn't feeling it. Instead chose a 6'6" chip. Was a bad move, just could not catch waves on that thing, would either nosedive or miss the wave. Towards the end of the summer went back to my bodyboard, decided it was more fun to surf empty lineups and catch waves vs. being corralled in a zoo of a surf zone and having no clue what to do. Went off to college in Boston where I focused on drinking beer and chasing girls, sold board and that was it for surfing for while.
Fast forward to 2008. I'm 18 mos. out of school working for a major investment bank in NYC, making the big bucks. Go to visit my buddy who moved out to San Diego after school. He lived in PB 5 blocks from beach and one day while he was at work I walk into a surf shop and take a lesson with the guy who owns it. Paddle out on 8' softop and rented wetsuit. By the time I finally make it out my arms are toast and I can barely move. Caught some waves and got one where I made it down the line. Guy giving me the lesson was stoked, said it took him 2 yrs to teach his girlfriend how to do that. Next year go to visit my buddy again an rent a board with his roomate. Two kooks riding whitewater clogging up the inside section at PB near the pier. Went home and decided I need to buy a board. 7'10" Bunger funshape from craigslist. Kept it in my parents garage on Long Island and on summer weekends (if I wasn't working) would take train out and drive to beach to kook it up. Still very much a completely clueless, hopeless kook at this point. Become very interested in surfing and start reading up on all kinds of online surf mags while sitting at my desk late at night waiting for my next work assignment. Decide that surfing is a dream that I will accomplish one day, when I can get out of this corporate slave of an existence I am living.
2010, 3 yrs on the job decide that working 90hrs a week on the godforsaken island that is Manhattan just so I could bring home an outsized paycheck and make my parents proud just wasn't worth it. Besides, I only wanted the $ to get chicks, and I already found the one I loved and she cared more about actually spending time with me than me buying her Prada bags or some sh-t. Jumped off a cliff - didn't just leave the job and go to B-school like some friends were doing, didn't look for another job. Decided to go to Brazil solo for two months, traveling around the coast and surfing. That was a blast but a complete other story... came back a semi-competent beginner surfer. Purchased ring, proposed to girlfriend. Also purchased winter surf gear. Spent my time networking, trying to get a few things off the ground, figuring out what the f-ck I'm gonna do with my life now. All the while surfing any time there is a little bump in the water. Eventually find new job that uses skills I like using but much more relaxed work schedule. Much less $ but living on Long Island now and can hit up dawn patrol sessions any time I want. Three years later now, married, different job but have barely missed a swell since I 'really' started surfing 3 yrs ago. Many new friends from surfing, many good memories. Facing big expenses and unknowns now trying to buy a house and start a family in an unreasonable pricey place to live. It's a struggle trying to make it all work and sometimes think about just getting another city job to make the $ issue go away. Can't do it, won't do it, just don't want to. Not worth it for me, can honestly say I'm truly enjoying life and being thankful for each day whereas I used to wake up pissed off all the time. I have to credit a lot of that to surfing.
Anyway still a sort of a kook and a yuppie and probably always will be, but at least now am a competent surfer who doesn't blow (too many) waves and can garner some respect in most line-ups. Still enjoying it as much as I did boogie boarding when I was 8 yrs old. Wouldn't change a thing...
I started surfing around age 10-11 in Virginia Beach. We would usually surf just south of the pier or sometimes the Northend or Sandbridge. We didn't surf 1st Street when we were young beginners. DID YOU HEAR THAT ALL YOU FUNBOARD RIDING OLD NEWBIE KOOKS? WE DIDN'T SURF 1ST STREET, BECAUSE WE HAD RESPECT BACK THEN FOR PEOPLE WHO COULD ACTUALLY SURF AND DIDN'T WANT TO GET IN THE WAY. Once we reached a certain level of ability, then we took our game to other breaks. Have a good day.
[QUOTE=Losttsol;195930]DID YOU HEAR THAT ALL YOU FUNBOARD RIDING OLD NEWBIE KOOKS? WE DIDN'T SURF 1ST STREET, BECAUSE WE HAD RESPECT BACK THEN FOR PEOPLE WHO COULD ACTUALLY SURF AND DIDN'T WANT TO GET IN THE WAY. [QUOTE]
This is so on point, every town/county has a break where newbies feel entitled, I payed my dues in shee-it breaks as a grom, didnt step up to bro peak till I knew I wasnt gonna blow it on the takeoff.