1. Pick Your Moment
1. Pick Your Moment
Surfing is all about timing, you’ve no doubt been told, and it’s true. But before you can think about timing your top turn to perfection, or indeed your bottom turn, or even your take-off, first you must find yourself in the right place at the right time to catch the wave, and this in itself is complicated as buggery. For not only does it mean positioning yourself intelligently in the line-up and coinciding your arrival at the beach with that of orderly swell lines breaking over a favourably arranged seabed, it also means surfing when as few other surfers as possible are surfing.
Hence what time you go surfing requires a bit of thought. Often the number of surfers in the water fluctuates with little relation to rhyme or reason, and for this reason among others a beachside dwelling is ideal, enabling you to monitor the crowd and pounce when the opportunity presents itself.
But there are also identifiable trends that vary from place to place, and these should be taken into account. Surfing really early in the morning, for example, will generally yield more waves per hour, although some surfing populations are earlier risers than others, and on a weekday you’re liable to get caught up in pre-work rush hour. If you are blissfully unemployed or work flexible hours, it can pay to wait for the post-pre-work-surf — although perhaps “pay” isn’t the right word. Worst of all is the post-work/post-school surf, which is guaranteed to be Sergio Ramos. Avoid at all costs.
In places with a high concentration of surf camps, everything revolves not around work and school but around meals, which are often served at a fixed and non-negotiable time. This can be used to your advantage. People will talk in terms of the pre-breakfast surf, the post-breakfast surf, the post-post-breakfast surf (also known as the pre-lunch surf), the post-lunch surf etc. But the lunchtime surf, and if it’s not too dark the dinnertime surf, is really where it’s at.
Hint: go hungry.