The word’s of the great Clash song, ‘should I stay or should I go?’ often go through my head . Here are my top tips for avoiding another surfer’s dilemma
1. Often, I’m standing looking at the underwhelming surf from the top of a cliff and I’m wondering if it’s worth getting wet for, weighing up a few dribbly waves against the things I ‘should’ be doing. Top tip – riding even one wave is better than doing the supermarket trip.
2. Occasionally it looks too big and scarey to risk it. Top tip – beware the ‘Putsborough effect’ – it always looks bigger and scarier from up high. Stop being a woos – get suited and booted and go in.
3. Is the car park fee worth it? This is a very common feeling when visiting North Devon where surfonomics seems to mean we’re the cash cows there to be milked dry by a few rich landowners. Top tip – after each wave, think how much you would have paid for it. At the end of the session, total it up and if your session was worth more than you paid in car parking fees, you’re quids in.
4. I forgot my boots / gloves / hood – my bits will drop off. Top tip – As long as you’ve got a board and wetsuit you’ve got no excuse. I’ve once forgot my gloves in December, broke my knuckle but it didn’t hurt (at least not until a few hours later when my hands thawed out). Having cold feet makes the ‘rock dance’ at low tide easier to bear.
5. Should I stay living in a relatively surf-poor town or move west for more juice? Probably the gnarliest ‘stay/go’ dilemma. I see my friends who made the move getting more and better waves than me, usually in smaller crowds. Sounds like a no-brainer? Top tip – never drive away from a rideable wave – don’t underestimate the potential for your home break to surprise you with decent surf .