Cottons a week ago from last Thurs aft: 7-10 ft faces , some rogues pushing at or near DOH, biggest spot at Trestles that day.

great shape, a regular crowd on the inside, outside …relatively sparse(which is quite usual for Cottons only).

But I’d have to agree with the common thread here, there is so much surfing I want to do,

but dont, because of the crowds. Moreover, we’ve had 3 lackluster LaNina influenced winters in a row

with the Summers not stepping up either. Not enough waves to get anyone satiated or bored.

There is nothing like a consistent winter here to provide plenty of low density paddle out days.

Solitude,no more!

Although this post has nothing to do with surfboard design

I must say:

I surf some of the most crowded breaks on the planet and

have for the last 40+ years. I have surfed many spots outside

the US that are considered crowded by the local cadre as well

and agree with Greg. It is what u make it. It has nothing to do

with density, with interest, with fashion, or anything else, except

riding waves. If u want to surf, u will find a way. Sit outside and

let the first one go by. Make ur own boards for the spots u surf

that are better than what’s on the rack at the local shop. Learn

what the bottom does when the swell is at the wrong angle for a

perfect day. Figure out tides & swell work best for your home spot

and be on it before the crowd. It is not very hard, just takes a bit

of work. Quit whining and eat the cheese! Let’s talk surfboards and


This weekend there was a bit of a surprise swell working that wasn’t expect to be here. But it was head high on set and really fun. On Saturday, it was just a few guys out at this one spot that was working well, and these guys surf there often - long-time local guys who have the place dialed in and knew it would be good, while most everybody else didn’t even check it that day. By Sunday, the word must have gotten out, because there was at least 15 guys out at the same spot, with the best peak jammed rail to rail in the lineup right at the tip of the jetty. It was bumper-boards. My foot actually touched another guy’s foot underwater at one point. Gave us both the creeps. But you had to cluster together at the peak, because the current was ripping and you had to paddle constantly to stay in position. Needless to say, it was pretty disappointing having to surf what would normally be an “under the radar” type spot, for the most part, with a bunch of guys I never surf with, don’t know their names, having to constantly jockey for position, and playing footsie with another dude. (At least we were wearing boots.) Within a half hour, it was turning into a total hate session.

But then I realized, it wasn’t the crowd at all… it was me. Everybody else was stoked and having fun. All the frustration, disappointment, hate, envy, etc… was all in MY head. Once I realized that the only person responsible for my attitude was me, I began to feel better. I re-framed the session… Get a wave, ride it all the way in. Walk back up. Watch a few. Paddle out. TALK to somebody for a minute. Catch another one. I might not get as many waves this way, but at least I was free from the, “I just want to get out of here” demon in my head, and I could once again let myself be happy and thankful to be healthy enough to surf, and have all day to do it.

When I was growing up in the '80s windsusrfing was VERY popular and now it seems like no one windsurfs. Does anyone know why? Could the same factors apply for surfing?

It takes a long time to get good at surfing, especially here in NH where it is cold a lot of the time … there are a lot more riders over the last few years but even when it is crowded there is not too much competition for waves because there are only so many decent surfers (myself not included!)


I’m inclined to agree with most of what you’ve written. But that was the point of the ‘whining’. I’m glad you’ve found some solutions?

… classic scenario.

Growth has consequences - good and bad. The general pattern seems to be that we’ll relish the ‘good’ on the way up (so to speak), but at some point, the so called ‘bad’ seems to get the upper hand. Exactly where surfing is on this path, I’m not sure. But I contend that it is following this classic path.

… on the contrary… it is about design.

As for this thread’s relationship to design, of course it relates to design. I’m not the site’s historian, but the growth of the industry tells the tale. From its original lonely innovators to its now looming corporate future. That original mix and play between design and actual technique - one seemingly feeding off the other - to the use of innovative materials, and at the moment, to innovations in production, distribution and pricing.

… wonder time.

But while we’re on the topic of design, as in actual functional design - where the board hits the water so to speak, I’m inclined to look back at just what happened (in the last half of the last century for the most part) and ask what really made it all happen. And I believe the key was ‘access’. Access to waves and access to new materials and access to new ‘minds’. But in particular access to waves, which included increased leisure time. It’s all that free energy you experience at the beach, that potential for a free ride that the wave seems to offer - something which continues to this day - particularly with kids, those with the most so called leisure time – but I’m inclined to call it wonder time.

… its all mini-revolutions now.

I think it’s now a pretty safe bet that increased ‘gizmoizing’ surfcraft isn’t only going to have much more success - if any real benefit at all – aside from putting a some money in some clever marketer’s pocket (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… there really is a sucker born every minute.) Instead I’m inclined to think, or ask, what some money-poor kid is thinking about at the beach. And I when I do I can’t help to see a future in that hybrid of an activity, which seems to be developing between skimboarding and surfing shore break.

… the barrens… that no-man land between environs

Sure they ain’t got fins, and once they get into a wave the ride tends to be over before it begins, but damn, take a few moments and really watch them - its surfing in its purest form - at least mechanically.

As for fins, yeah, they can get in trouble sometimes, but wow, talk about ‘rail to rail’ control - ‘they don’t need no stink’ng fin’. Nor do they need much in terms of buoyancy if any, nor a whole lot else. They just need a planing surface. It’s a mini-revolution in the making - or maybe its already been made.

… less is more.

You say, well yeah but the big fun is out riding the bigger stuff. I agree, but when this generation of skimboarder/surfers starts to move out into the ‘fun stuff’ in a big way, they’ll be bringing all of what they’ve learned with them and I’m inclined to believe that one of those lessens will be ‘less is more.’ And they’re impact will go far beyond equipment design, as they’ll also bring that funky extreme rail-to-rail midset with them – much like when the skater mindset started to influence surfing technique in a big way.

… it’s cheap… like dude, it’s like totally ninja.

You can get into skimboarding/surfing pretty cheap, a heck of a lot cheaper than you can get into surfing – no crap to haul around, no need for some massive ‘surf wagon’, nor fight for parking space, deal with lifeguards, or worry about restricted surfing areas, etc. and best of all you can do while Mom and Dad are up on the berm putting away the potato salad – “Don’t worry Martha, it’s not like the kid even has to know how to swim for Christ’s sake. Looks pretty harmless to me”

… the vacuum.

What pushing this? Somebody once said ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’ (some ancient Greek guy…I don’t think it’s the same guy who puts out the turbo fin, but who knows). Putting it another way, when she [Nature] finds a vacuum, she’ll grow into it - and use it up.


I don’t want to be a penis… but I’ve never let that get in the way before… ….

Windsurfing killed itself – it simply priced itself out of a market. Unless you where some sort of equipment geek with bundles of cash to spare, getting into it, let along saying in the sport, was a non-starter. Find a way to put out a really cheap durable sailboard that is easily and compactly transported and they’ll come back in droves, at least the crowds will be back.

… a plague to last?

The same for the other so called derivative or hybrid sports. Also, my apologies to all you SUP makers and enthusiasts, but I hoping your little niche meets the same faith – that is, collapses real soon. But my guess is it won’t. If there ever was a product ripe for ‘corporate’ take over its SUP production. They can be made much cheaper, and they likely will. The restless and board (as in what to do with all my fee time) cash rich baby-boomers have only started look around for “easy” yet “cool” ways to have and be “fun” (so they can make up for all those years selling insurance or whatever.) Getting into the line-up where you can be young and cool again is just too attractive an idea, even it’s on a quasi-boat-canoe thingy – sailboards almost worked, same for kayaks and all those other things people where bobbing around on in the 90’s, but SUPs? … yeah… I think this plaque is here for a while.

… pricing has been key.

As for surfing pricing itself out of the market? Maybe, but I think there’s enough collective experience around for the corporate pioneers (surfing’s new innovators) to know where to draw the line. Think about what happened when Clark closed shop – kids went to Home Depot and started to build comps. (Okay, I’m taking some liberties with history here, but hopefully you get the point.) If the corporateers over price their product, the kids will head back to Home Depot, or wherever else they can and start another revolution. Same for all the peripheral gimzo makers, fins, finboxes, etc. - good pricing strategies are key in surviving the surfing market. Heck, you just can’t trust kids to get in line and accept the status quo – little bastards – yeah… exactly!

… this ought to be interesting.

I’m just waiting to see what comes of the $1500 heated wetsuit (see Silly’s reference above) . Think about this. Heck, think about unheated wetsuits. The damn things have always been on the brink of pricing themselves out of business. Trust me your $300 plus wetsuit is likely worth less than a third of it’s shelf price… that’s why they’re the only ones capable of such intense marketing strategies, not to mention the vast armies of sales reps each brand has – including competitions etc. They do do their market research!

But this time, I think they’ve over reached. Its not like heated suits are some great technological innovation. Its an old idea which is applying old technology. (Maybe some relatively new materials, but still its an old idea.) Then again maybe they will bring the price down over time, then again maybe they won’t – especially if they’ve managed to patten the concept? Which apparently you can do now.

… open minds faced with a seemingly endless source of free energy.

Surfing in a strange way is about kids – about fresh new minds finding ways to have fun, without the need for gobs of cash. I’m not saying there’s no market for heated suits or SUPs or all the other stuff – heck I’m sure there’s lots of cash to be made selling this stuff – but its that young open mind that has always been the driving force in surfing – I like to think it has something to do with sitting on the beach faced with all that free energy – it’s a total equal opportunity – it’s all up for grabs - why it’s enough to drive a young person insane.


It would be sweet if some of the industry millions went towards artificial reefs.

Kiteboarding killed windsurfing. Compared to windsurfing, kiteboarding has the power of wind and water, plus the ability to get in the barrel. The guys who surfed first, then learned to kite absolutely rip, and only surf on days when there’s no wind.

But then I realized, it wasn't the crowd at all... it was me. Everybody else was stoked and having fun. All the frustration, disappointment, hate, envy, etc... was all in MY head. Once I realized that the only person responsible for my attitude was me, I began to feel better. I re-framed the session... Get a wave, ride it all the way in. Walk back up. Watch a few. Paddle out. TALK to somebody for a minute. Catch another one. I might not get as many waves this way, but at least I was free from the, "I just want to get out of here" demon in my head, and I could once again let myself be happy and thankful to be healthy enough to surf, and have all day to do it.

DUDE!!!! Have you been reading my mind across the continent??? Ha! I have been so there... Heck, last time I was in the water... Just thought that was worth having "in-line" again.

The marketing of surfing as “cool” to all and sundry across the planet will ensure that surfing keeps growing.

One thing people keep saying is to go and find an un-crowded break.

All and good but if you’ve lived at a spot all your life and love surfing that wave then it’s a bummer to have it over run.

Doesn’t do much for the environment to use a car to drive to a surfspot when you could have walked across the same road and gone surfing.

Also not too time effective if you don’t have all day to spend driving around trying to find good waves. Sometimes I have better things to do.

Throws the localism out the window when you’ve got to start driving minutes or hours away from your home beach just to find an uncrowded wave though.

Might as well move there. Until it becomes crowded. Keep moving and live in a motorhome maybe?

I feel you, brother… Two things came to mind, neither of which I thought of, but heard from somebody else:

  1. Never leave waves to find waves.

  2. Gray hair has to count for something.

Kcasey ,

It’s sad you’ve lost your stoke.

I surfed today…I’m stoked…

No bitter old man in his right mind would have surfed Turn Arounds today at noon…Blown out beach break slop… I’m stoked 5 other people joined me…Or maybe I joined them…No need to check the internet…You can see the break from the Highway…

herya go kevin. its my birthday im 38, this is today.there would have been at least 50 guys surfing a break 10 k away at shoulder height

this was getting out of my comfort zone but at least it was only us 2 out. we scored a few good ones in our old fashion wetties and homemade, home depot foam boards.

Naah, I haven’t lost my stoke… I’m still surfing far too much (if that’s possible) and having too much fun doing it., I’m just being cranky.

Good to know you haven’t lost it either.


I hope 38 isn’t even close to the half-way point. Stay loose Silly.

… and stop tormenting the forum with this pictures, or I’ll save up my pennies and fly down with the rest of the migrating American kooks and follow you around.


see for more of this insanity

See for more of this insanity.

These guys have got it down to the absolute basics - a planing surface and a surfer - no fins, no gizmos, no buoyancy issues, etc. - its pure surfing. Okay their rides are relatively short, but that’s not the point. When they decide to take this ‘mindset’ outside in sufficient numbers, they will make an impact on design.

By the way, you don’t need these kinds of conditions. It’s amazing what they can do with the lamest of waves - fast, rail to rail, and maybe if you can get it all just right an occasion trim. …

Where else was the next wave going ot come from, but here in that no-man’s land of a zone where the wet hits the dry, where all that energy rises up in one last massive explosive event.

By the way, the corporateers are already in this market (and have been for a while) - check out the prices on some of the high end boards. Luckily, you can still make a nice board for less than $50.


yep nobody out is still there.

just junk waves enlivened by

an imagination and alternative

equiptment …

There is surf music

the board is the perfect length 2’ -12’

the waves are small can you crawl?

the crowd is perfect,known eachanother for decades.

Introductions all arround,akk sand bottom

hang over the side in the water to cool off…

see to the bottom in 15; o’ water,


I think we’re alone now…

cherish it ,It wont last…

Well,it happened again…33 million people in California…Sunday May 24 at 5:00pm. I paddled out at a popular So Cal spot with only 5 guys out…Waist to chest high waves…I caught a wave, and then another and then another…By the seventh wave there were 10 people out…On my 10th wave a “local” dropped in on me…his board is 10 feet , mine is a home made 8 footer…(I’m a local too…Ha Ha)…I went in…Stoked…45 min session…I wanted to stay but I needed to let the other 33 million people get some waves.

I’m not a snake or a wave hog. Today at noon I paddled out at my “not to be named” left hand reef… I don’t know where all the surfers were hiding…7 guys out…low tide…waist to chest high…smooth…not magazine stuff…just smooth…yeah…33 million people and I still get waves…

A bit further south.

...... what's hip today, might become passe?

surfing in Russia? Alaska? Antartica?

If nuthin else, take off together 'n learn how to do go behinds.