The surfing population as a whole might be regarded by the legions of the unsalted as a uniform herd of work-shy, shoe-phobic, over-sexed, ganja-tooting ne’er-do-wells. But! Within our own ranks, we can be further classified by our adhesion to our own codes of (mal) practice., ever fond of lazy journalism and cliché, thus indulgeth…

Photo: Ricardo Bravo. Words by Ben Mondy.


For the up early surfer, there is nothing sweeter than the sound of the alarm going off in the pitch blue-black of a pre-dawn morning. The up early surfer actually sets the alarm for an hour before they go to bed, just to make sure they will be the first one on it. The well practised pre light early surf rituals of coffee and cereal tend to be almost zen like. They will cite the early morning offshores, the lack of crowds and the spectre of the rising of the sun as the orgasmal joys of the early surf, usually while they are smugly drying off, just as you are slowly getting your shit together for the first surf of the day.

However, unsurprisingly, they tend to not to mention a few of the hardships that are associated with such a devotion to the dawn. The strapping on of freezing cold wet wetsuits in the sun’s early putrid rays is not talked about. They also tend to be single, as no right respecting partner will tolerate a migraine inducing alarm at 6am five days a week, nor a spouse who has to go to bed about the same time as your average 7-year-old.

Funnily enough the early bird surfer doesn’t get along with the morning sickness surfer. For this breed (the French and Spanish the most obvious example) the sound of the alarm going off is akin to having their eyeballs dipped in sulfuric acid, then squeezed through a cheese grater. They tend to have a dysfunctional co-dependent relationship with their bed and their capacity to lie to themselves is legendary.

After hearing their alarm (and yes for some reason they still actually set their alarms) and despite the forecast of a new swell and offshore winds, they can convince themselves in a heartbeat that a whisper of wind is in fact a new onshore, and then relieved, drift back to sleep. Morning sickness for them is one of surfing’s greatest inventions, rather than frustrations. For this guy the just before lunch surf is the early, and G-land is some type of nirvana, where the morning sickness ends and offshores kick in at 10.00 am, providing the sole example of what should be the true natural order of things.


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