Saturday, December 6

Ocean Beach to Ocean Beach

I fly to Australia tomorrow - traveling to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Denmark. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and also to returning to Denmark's Ocean Beach, one of my favorite places in the world.

One of my new favorite place in the world is San Francisco's Ocean Beach. I've become completely obsessed with the break and its shifty, cold and pounding peaks. It's a break of many moods. Today's mood: clean, consistent 6 foot waves under sunny skies.

Ocean Beach SF is well known, even outside California, and is often featured in Surfing Magazines. And yet, even though runs all the way along a big city, it is rarely crowded. On a weekday morning you can often find a peak to yourself (assuming the peaks aren't shifting around like ghosts) with only a handful of guys out. I've surfed it in fog where, with 50 meter or so visibility, I didn't see another soul (or the beach) for over an hour. When you consider how crowded other city breaks get--I felt like I'd traveled to a parallel universe (the afterlife maybe) to have such quality waves so completely to myself.

It seems there just aren't that many people who want to get up before dawn to drive through dense fog, get into a thick wetsuit, walk across the Great Highway (hoping the car won't be stolen), then enduring countless duck-dives, getting caught inside and taking a few right on the head, getting held under for a while until there's finally a lull so you can paddle like mad to get out the back, then, having at last made it out the back, chasing the shifting peaks around for a while before-finally-catching one and, assuming you even make the drop and don't get obliterated, probably still finding yourself caught inside again, leading to taking a few more on the head, etc. Anyway, that's my theory as to why it doesn't get crowded.


Blogger Arran said...

Yes Dan we surfers are so often humbled by the power of the ocean... I was falling into that category literally (shall we just say nose diving)on some hefty lurching take offs among an aggressive crowd of hungry surfers at Stark Bay on Rottnest just a few days ago! I hadn't surfed anything with serious size and power for a while and it showed... At least the pilot who landed on the Hudson River in New York had no trouble bringing the nose up!

4:18 PM  

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