San Diego Surfing
After years of wanting to, I finally was able to go surfing. Many people may think it’s strange that a self-proclaimed beach bum would have not been surfing sooner in his life, but it’s a question of opportunity, and goals. Normally I am just happy to sit on the beach and body surf. This day, I wanted more.
I grew up going to Rhode Island every year, and the surfing there is not that great. We always body surfed, and then boogie boards became big, but we never used them. There is a contingent of surfers now at 2nd Beach in Middletown, RI. However, the waves just aren’t that big.
I could have done some surfing while in the Marine Corps since I was stationed in both Virginia Beach and the coast of North Carolina, but for some reason it never happened.
Recently I was in Carlsbad, California (just north of San Diego) for business. I decided that if I was going to be in southern California, I would take advantage of it, stay the weekend and head to the beach.
I was able to get to South Carlsbad State Beach at around 8:30 on Saturday morning, and the beach was virtually empty. If you haven’t been there, the beaches of SoCal are beautiful, and many in the area are backed by large bluffs or rock and sand.
I got in the water, which seemed a bit cold, but was really about the same as it would be in Rhode Island at this time of year, between 65 and 70 degrees (I think it was closer to 65). The waves were strong but it was still a beautiful day and great water.
After sitting on the beach for a while I just realized that I had a whole day in front of me, and the waves were perfect for surfing. I had never done it before, and decided that this was the day. I called a number of places that offered surfing lessons, but none answered. Finally one place called me back, SurfinFire. They had one spot left in a group lesson, as long as I could get to another beach within the next hour. So I packed everything up and walked the 1 1/2 miles to South Ponto Beach. What a beautiful walk, along the ocean, in the sand.
The guys are SurfinFire were great, and they provided wetsuits and boards for 5 other people besides myself. It was a great time, and some awesome waves. I would definitely do it again. Although, my back is deteriorating, and surfing was very hard work. I can see why surfers are in such good shape. It is a real workout, but it is so rewarding to feel yourself floating above the waves.
If you’ve never surfed before, you should do it. If you are in the Carlsbad, Encinitas or Oceanside area, call up SurfinFire, and get a lesson. It’s worth the $60 for about 2 hours to learn the right way to surf.
South Ponto Beach seen from the top of the bluffs.