Skip to content

“the epoch of belief”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, English novelist (1812 – 1870)


About one hundred and fifty years later, I read this quote and am amazed at its timeless universality. This quote could just as easily be applied to the 2007 surf year. I had the opportunity to score a beautiful south swell at my home break (spring break, the Hook), an epic typhoon in July (Kona, Hawaii), beautiful consistent hurricane waves in August (Dean in Wrightsville Beach), a crazy booming late season south swell in November, and some good, fun and really BIG waves in December. But in between those epic highlights there were some of the longest flattest spells I have ever witnessed. And I have exceptionally low standards (remember, we’re talking waves only here) – I am one of those people that wants to get wet everyday it is possible to surf. ThereNew year’s Eve were definitely multiple occasions where I did not get wet for days in a row because there was NOT surf.

Right now, we are in a nice stretch of getting waves, but it is frigid (51 water temp, air = low 30s in the morning). I broke down today and got a 5-4, the 4-3 with booties and a hood was NOT cutting it. I would rather get a 5-4 than break down and wear gloves. For whatever cockamamie reason I would rather buy a 5-4 than purchase and wear gloves. I don’t know if it’s a west coast judgment issue, a Santa Cruz judgment issue or just my own internal judgment issue but gloves are not for me. After trying on, purchasing and wearing my new O’Neill grom Mutant series 5-4 I know I just made one of the best purchases of my entire life. The new 5-4 is the old 4-3.

As 2007 ticks away, I hope that you can also relate to Dickens. I hope you have had and continue to have a vast range of experiences in and out of the water that keep you intellectually and physically stimulated. More than anything else – I hope to not get caught up in comparisons, I hope I can be present and open to appreciating all that the ocean has to offer – even when it is flat!

Categories: General, west coast wahine.

Comment Feed

4 Responses

  1. I know that cold water too, like Pacific NorthWest cold – nice story thanks for relating it, happy new year.

  2. It’s cold down in Southern California too- about 55 and yesterday I was thinking I should be wearing my gloves! Which I did bring with me- and hey you should try some on becuz they have changed a lot over the years and are pretty darn comfortable- you’d be suprised at the difference it can make when surfing to not have your hands turn into lobster claws- you can actually get your suit off after surfing! We surf the Pacific Northwest in 5.4.3 with hoods, booties, and gloves in the middle of July, so I feel ya sister!

  3. Wow, i am impressed with your ability to not wear gloves in those cold conditions! I really enjoyed your blog, it makes me feel like such a wimp.

    KilekeniJanuary 2, 2008 @ 7:47 am
  4. You should NOT feel like a wimp – it can be hard to overcome the body’s natural desire to survive in comfort. I’m lucky that the waves are as good as they are as often as they are. There are some definite perks to winter surfing too,i.e. seeing the crowds thin out because of the cold weather (because it usually means my wave count goes up). The more I can actually be surfing/ paddling while out there, the warmer I am. Seems to me that all the seasons have their own “Catch-22” component.

    SantaCruzSurferJanuary 2, 2008 @ 7:57 am

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.