It's about life - not "lifestyle"
Thursday, August 1, 2002. There was fog this morning, and reports that the waves from Hurricane Elida were quieting down. I'd been concentrating on filling the photo files of, some days to the exclusion of riding waves myself. It didn't matter. By hitting different beaches than the ones I'm used to, and looking through a viewfinder up close at literally every surfer riding waves, it had been an outstanding experience in terms of charging my personal batteries.

For one thing, it meant photos for the website. The fact that many of the photos came out well was pleasing. You really need to shoot surfing to appreciate what you see in the magazines every month. I have almost none of the magazine requirements - fog, wind, anything goes if there is something worthwhile in the shot. But if we have a summer like 2001, where it was foggy and flat for what seemed like months, then there really is nothing. Now a weight is off, for the time being.

Another great thing is the reality of so many good surfers. The quality of surfing I saw at Malibu and Leo Carillo and Zuma ranged from mediocre to absolutely first rate. The variety of equipment was great to see also.

And it was great to see the sun at the beach.
Although I'd been traveling as light as possible, I was still feeling a little burdened by equipment. Seeing fog again, I figured I'd leave the photo gear at home. I also figured I'd leave the boards at home too. With the surf supposedly dropping I knew a lot of people would be out in the water either getting their last licks in, or their first licks if they didn't go at the peaks of the swells. What you see in the second photo (above) is all the surf gear I took, less my trunks and the little digital camera. Everything fit in the daypack.
Take a look at the wave on the left. Elida was still thumping, and the sun came out. This is a "pocket beach", one of those places which really are too nasty to surf, with submerged rocks, funky wave shape, and currents.No parent in their right mind would bring a child here. No surfer would risk a $350 thruster on it.

I came to bodysurf. I know the picture isn't much, but look just above dead center; see the pitching tube? A closeout, yes. As I swam to the base of the waves they would pitch out so far that I would be in the shade of the lip before I got close enough to dive under.
The view from the beach probably wasn't much, but from "the inside" it got pretty spectacular. Nobody else in the water, nobody else on the beach. Water warm enough to leave the wetsuit in the car. Air warm enough to dry off just sitting on the sand, enjoying the freedom of a summer bodysurfing morning.
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