surfing rules!

So we went on our family vacation to Maine recently, which was awesome.  I surprised myself, though, with how much of it I wanted to spend at the beach.  We spent two days hanging out on the beach out of the 6 we were there, and it just didn’t seem like enough.

When it was time to leave the beach on those days, I didn’t want to go, even as I was playing the good daddy and shepherding the boys away from the water.  When we were eating dinner, I just wanted to go back to the sand.  When it was raining and threatening thunderstorms, I figured we could hang out at the beach till we actually saw lightning bolts.

We did some really fun things in between beach times, don’t get me wrong.  I would have been bummed to not go to Strawberry Banke or the zoo.  But I have to confess that I just can’t get enough of the beach.  The lake is fun, and there are nice things about a lake that the ocean doesn’t offer, but there is simply no substitute for the power of the sea.

Probably the main reason I’ve been thinking about it so much was because I took a surf lesson.  I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try it!  And I have to try it now, when I live hundreds of miles from the ocean, when I lived within walking distance for years and years in SF?  What the hell was I thinking?  Surfing is the perfect sport for me.  It’s by far the king of the boardsports.  It’s strange to me that snowboarding has gotten so big when both skateboarding and surfing are so much better.  Skateboarding is the ultimate in simplicity.  You have a pretty cheap and simple device that’s super portable, and you can do it anywhere that’s flat.  Surfing takes more effort because you can only do it in specific places, and the board is much bigger, but still, you just dive in and go.  With snowboarding, not only do you have the most equipment of any of the three, but by and large you’re restricted to specific places that are generally far from populated areas.  And these places have to maintain huge infrastructures to get people from the bottom to the top of the mountains and to keep the snow cover reasonably consistent in many of them.  And yes, lots of places don’t need snowmaking, and you can always hike, but that’s not the reality for most people.

Taking that surf lesson and falling in love with it instantly made me realize what it’s like for people who live in NYC or Boston and who love snowboarding in Vermont, but just can’t make it up here very often.  They have to look at it the way I have to look at a surf trip: it’s a commitment in time and money and it’s a very special occasion when it can happen.  They dream about moving to the mountains, and they read our website just to get the merest taste of the lifestyle.  I take snowboarding for granted now.  It’s easy to go and there are lots of incentives to go.  I should go more than I do, given how easy it is.  It’s good to remember that many people are not so lucky…

But it’s summer now, and all I want to do is go surfing again.  I want to feel the sand in my toes.  I want to watch the sun go down over the ocean (yes, I know I’m living near the wrong coast for that, but sunsets over the ocean are better than sunrises).  I want to smell the overpowering smell of sea life, permeating everything, flavoring everything with that metallic tang.  I want to clear my head with the constant roar of water slowly grinding rock to powder.  I want to watch my kids dig holes to see the water flow in as the tide comes in.

Ah well.  I will do well to remember those people who envy me, just like I envy beach residents right now…

2 Responses to “surfing rules!”

  1. April says:

    Hans is with you on the power of the sea. Maybe those of us who grew up landlocked just don’t feel that urge. Ok, I am starting to… just a little at least.

    Surfing… awesome! Also something that Hans has always wanted to try. And me too. Who knows when now? I don’t expect we will try it anytime soon. But I love reading the passion in your post.

    Anyways, we were kicking ourselves in Alaska last week for failing to get your parent’s contact info. We were in Talkeetna for a day fishing.

  2. kacey says:

    Let’s go my friend. Let’s go live by the sea.

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