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Back In Session

Lots of people dread the end of summer – colder weather, diminishing daylight, returning to the regimen of school drop offs, lunch making and homework oversight. Although I don’t embrace all aspects of fall equally, I am always willing and ready to hurtle myself into fall. Why you may wonder, especially since the water finally warms up in Santa Cruz (newsflash = water over 60 degrees is considered “warm” here) by the end of summer? Or maybe you think I’m tired of my kids and trying to keep them from spending copious hours in front of a screen.


The answer is pretty simple, and if you’ve been surfing for a while you probably already know where I am going with this. Fall is when the REAL waves start to arrive and the valleys (“tourists” aka “terrorists” if they ride a 10 foot plus weapon of mass destruction) quit coming over en masse. And truly, there is nothing like a ten to fifteen degree reduction in water and air temperature to inhibit the valleys! Mix in a good northwest swell with enough current and consistency to keep the valleys from making it out to the line up, as well as keeping the “I-wanna-go-pro-show” contingency occupied enough with paddling back out so they cant post up and whistle for all the best set waves and I am well on the way to satiation.

The other thing I love about fall is that it’s similar to being a kid and returning to school – you get to see your tribe again. The locals return and we sort out our own seating arrangement (“line up”) quickly. Instead of writing out “The Best Thing About My Summer Break,” we talk story and catch up on travels, travails, equipment purchases, parenting tips, neighborhood issues and reconfirm our friendships.

And yes, it is prime shark attack season in reality not just theory. Although I don’t love or even like the idea of a shark attack, I have to confess that I do like the way it thins out the numbers even more. The dedication and/ or denial level that is needed to persevere into the fall and beyond especially after a confirmed shark attack (Todd Endris, August 28 2007 Marina State Beach) within the “Red Triangle” makes me fall in love with the ocean even more.

Categories: General, west coast wahine.

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