Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Midwesterner Surfs, Sort Of

I've been fascinated with surfing since I was a kid. Not sure what triggered the desire when I was growing up in Illinois, probably something to do with 1) being a waterbug since day one, 2) seeing images of surfers riding the tube and 3) having an appreciation for vintage surf music.
photo from

I'm still in awe watching the many North County surfers maneuver their boards in the surf on any given day. Living so close to such a great surf area has really intensified my desire to get in the water.

Last year I took the first steps and bought a wetsuit and fins. Swimming in the surf was a great way to get more familiar with the water and to learn how the waves come in sets. Next up was a bodyboard, again to help familiarize myself with the sport. Finally a cheapo Costco Wavestorm board was borrowed from a neighbor late last summer. Wavestorms are easy enough to surf that even a hack like me was able to get up on the very first wave.

But with any new hobby or past time that I jump in to (such as kayaks or coffee), I try to learn as much as I can and buy good gear to play with. And a good surfboard will be coming my way in about six weeks. Since Celeste goes to the "hippie/surfer school" down in Encinitas, I recently became friends with another dad from the school. Craig Hollingsworth has been shaping surfboards since 1973 and has been helping me immensely as I learn about the sport and the types of boards that best suit a newbie like me.
His personal longboard is in my garage this weekend to try out.
A nine-footer, branded as a Hansen, it's pretty similar to what he's going to shape for me. However, since I'm still green, my board will be a little bit thicker to offer more buoyancy.
Now I just need to decide what color I want. I do know that the classic Hansen logo will be presented in the red as pictured. How'd it ride?
Well, being an absolute beginner going out on a day with a very small swell and continually being in the wrong place meant that I *barely* got up a couple of times this afternoon. To be honest, last summer's day-with-the-Wavestorm was more productive. However, I wasn't the only guy striking out as the other surfers were spending more time bobbing in the cool water than they were catching waves. But that's fine by me, any time in the water is time well spent. Now I need to go and get a Wavestorm to use while I wait for the Hollingsworth-made board to be completed.


Anonymous said...

we got one in the garage you can use anytime

- Graham

Doubledrumlin said...

Way to go, Chris. And you needed another hobby.