Tutorials: Know Before You Go - Part III
Know After You Go
What’s it been? Three hours? I told myself I’d catch “one more”, six more ago. My arms feel like fresh cooked udon. Mmmmmm… udon. That does it. Time to get out of the water. Whether it’s a sweet ride in or a paddle of shame, welcome to an etiquette based guide to successfully wrapping up your surf.
Our first part of this series talked about the importance of getting good intel on your chosen surf break. That knowledge comes into play at an especially critical moment: the end of your surf. Just like when mountaineers begin the descent, this can be a risky time for surfers. often we are tired and starting to become complacent as we turn our backs to the ocean and paddle for shore. What is the tide doing? Are there any rip currents to avoid on the way in?
Are there any hazards specific to that spot that you should avoid? For example, if you have been surfing at North Chesterman and find yourself at the north end of the beach during a dropping tide, beware of the submerged rocks in front of the beach access.
Summon that last ounce of strength to carry you and your board up the beach! Take off your leash as soon as you are fully out of the water and sling it over your board so that the velcro doesn’t drag in the sand. Some go with wrapping the leash around the tail and fins, but I avoid this because it can cause tangles in the leash.
Wetsuits, we love you. The struggle of getting in and out of them is a small price to pay for the insulation they provide. Keep your wetsuit clean and protect it from damage by using a tote bin or tarp mat. Cover yourself with a towel or changing poncho so as not to traumatise other beach goers.
Behold the number 1 offender:
I have lost count of how many of these I see strewn about at our local beach access parking lots. It would be safe to say that I have been an offender, myself. This shows us that we can be a bit careless, especially when we are zoned out, thinking about how tasty that last wave was, and how even tastier that burrito is going to be. Before you peel off, take a minute to look around your vehicle and make sure you didn’t leave anything behind.
As your session ends, someone’s is about to begin. That’s the surf-cle of life. The flaming froth torch is now yours to pass on. Did someone say that there were a couple of fun ones out there?