Do Crowds Keep You From Surfing?

Discussion in 'Global Surf Talk' started by mattinvb, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. mattinvb

    mattinvb Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    Had been keeping an eye on the forecast and surfline was calling thigh to waist for this morning. There are a couple of guys at the office who surf with me on occasion, and so we started talking this week about meeting up to dawn patrol.

    So I get up today to go surf for a few hours before work, and checked the top spots in my area that tend to be a bit bigger - but also practically always have a crowd as a result. Ended up picking one of the better breaks in town because of the size, and caught plenty of waves and had a blast, despite the crowds that were there.

    Head into work, and see one of my coworkers who said he was going to surf...I can tell he didn't paddle out, and ask why. he says that it was too small (knee high) at the north end. I asked him why he didn't just drive the extra five minutes to one of the better breaks that was noticeably bigger (waist high) and surf there. says that he doesn't like surfing crowded breaks, and basically implied if he can't surf decent sized waves with no crowd, he just wont surf.

    Made me wonder how many of yall will just skip surfing a decent wave if there is a crowd already on it? At what point do you say this isn't worth the hassle?
  2. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    I don't really have that problem but have been to places that were super crowded before to meet up with friends or w/e. It's always worth paddling out. Always.

  3. Tlokein

    Tlokein Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Depends. How big of a crowd? How good are the waves? Is there nowhere else that's firing?

    Most of the time I don't have a problem as I tend to hit it early and it's rare that it gets crowded until later in the am, and pretty much one spot is as good as another.

    On occasion I've gone over to certain spot that is the only place that works in a Nor'easter, and it can get pretty crowded. But it's mostly people who know what they are doing, and are usually quite good at it. I tend to hang on the outside and if I pick off a stray or two and I'm happy, but I'm not sticking my nose into the middle of the pack. I know my place in the lineup.
  4. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Early in--no crowds, but.....
    "first person in the water determines where the crowd will be".

    There are plenty of places to surf where crowd is not. Sometimes I go in at a spot I do not want to surf; crowds follow me in.
    I then leave and go to my favorite spot. All by myself.
    Surfers suck, big time. The younger they are the more they suck, both personally and skill wise.
  5. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    When it doesn't look like it will be fun, and the crowd already looks like they aren't having fun i.e. people are just getting in each others way/getting angry. Crowded good waves are fine by me - I'll paddle out. Clusterfuked lineups full of kooks that cant get out of their own way, much less others, are another story.

    I've seen 1st st in VB to the point where it was the best wave around but the longboard crowd was completely ruining the potential of the wave. If it aint fun, it aint fun so i'll go do something else.
  6. Zeroevol

    Zeroevol Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    I refuse to sit right in the middle of some these idiot crowds. I will sit on the edge or down the beach at the next break. I sit and watch those jokers dropping in on each other left and right.
  7. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Worst I've experienced were in Hawaii, where it seemed like every guy was on a yuge longboard & on top of that they were good surfers, every one of 'em. I saw guys back paddle people who were already up & riding, drop in on the very steep & deep & force the already-riding guy off. Vry aggro. Perhaps T-Wrex has a different perspective on HI surfing; he does seem to luv it there.

    Second-worst: pick it, Cap Breton France, Saladita (saw a guy on longboart drop in on a female longboarter & literally graze the top of her head as he went surfing over her, amazing no one got a scratch), Freights in Barbados, Trestles...

    It may not be a big-time wave or whatever, but this is why I have come to luv TPTSNBN on spring, autumn & winter weekdays. 20 miles of gorgeous Atlantic coastline all to meself. September, October out there is sublime.

    I try to go out early as he!!, get as much in as I can, then bail when the bus pulls up & disgorges the frenetics. Hate surfing in crowds. Don't know how you buoyz in VB do it (unless you pull the DOSXX & hit Dam Neck).
  8. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    I'll pass on crowded spots. There's always a peak somewhere nearby that's working nearly as good. More waves for me = more fun.
  9. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Yup idiots, for sure! And most of them are "floaters".....just in the way, dying "to be seen"......
  10. nopantsLance

    nopantsLance Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2016
  11. Kanman

    Kanman Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2014
    I pretty much agree with this. I find that my very best sessions are either A) alone or B) with a couple close friends or less than a handful of randos.

    Sometimes a small crowd is inevitable on good days. Every peak can have a few guys, particularly if it's one of only several spots that block specific wind directions. I have no problem making that extra drive to the place with less people.

    I will surf in a crowd, but I sure as hell have more fun without one.
  12. Zeroevol

    Zeroevol Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    Only way to do it! The way our beaches are such resort towns, I have to leave early before the traffic starts.
  13. dave

    dave Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    I'll modify somewhat but I'll never not surf due to crowds. I've been in lineups with 30+ people on 1 peak and had a great session because everyone knew their place and those that didn't were boxed out and/or otherwise dealt with....and I've been at the same spot the next day with 8 people and had a terrible time because 2 of the 8 people were complete ****heads. Also, a weekend crowd is different from a weekday crowd. I'll sit out a peak swell day on a weekend with 20 people just because I know I'll get the leftovers by myself on Monday.
  14. JayD

    JayD Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    I surfed this morning with a couple of O Barry guys...They were mellow and were catching plenty of waves and old salts so it was kewl.

    I don't know anybody that likes surfing crowds. I can typically find uncrowded waves. But, if it's crowded and good it's not a deal killer for me. I'm like a ninja in the line up and enjoy out smarting people (I have certainly had my share of getting outsmarted lol).

    If traveling, typically you are limited for whatever reason (few quality regional breaks), I definitely paddle out. Yank, makes a good point about Hawaii...most guys out can surf good which is a plus and a minus...less kookery but more getting outsmarted!!!
  15. UnfurleD

    UnfurleD Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    unless it's a 'cane infused session, i've never had a great time w/ crowds that i can recall
  16. kidde rocque

    kidde rocque Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    If it's my local, I will paddle out.

    If I'm visiting, I will avoid crowds.
  17. mattinvb

    mattinvb Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    I guess it's something I've just learned to deal with, and it's honestly as not as bad as you think because of
    Ol Barry hit the nail on the head. I find at pretty much every break I have surfed that for every 10 guys out, one or two can really surf well, and get their share of waves. The rest are just there, and don't paddle, or miss waves/drop ins when they do. Once I figured this out, 1st street and Croatnam in VB became exponentially more manageable. I guess what gets me about my co-worker is that it seems he psyches himself out because of the sheer number of people, and never stops to realize that the majority of them aren't actively surfing.
  18. frontsidecrotchgrab

    frontsidecrotchgrab Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    I tend to skip the weekends. That's when things get a bit out of control. Best to hit it just after the before work crowd leaves.
  19. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    I grew up surfing crowded peaks with pecking orders. Now the peaks here have a less defined hierarchy, giving opportunity for a roaming surfer to asses and snag a nug from time to time, without causing a hassle.

    Especially when there is a consistent swell,even if it's small,it shuffles the lineup.

    If it is small, with long lulls, and it's crowded, I'll go down the beach a bit. Otherwise, I find a slot.
  20. Clownface

    Clownface Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2017
    Crowds keep me away from your mom