On Tuesday I had planned to visit the northern beaches to see the waves and hopefully photograph some of the surfers there. But when I looked at Surfline, the waves were somewhere around 1-3 feet, which is pretty flat. But then I saw that The Wedge was consistently 8-10 feet! I had to see what was going on there. I walked over the sand toward the water and found the waves much smaller than expected. They were somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-4 with an occasional 6 foot set. Waves that small at The Wedge were only good for Boogie Boarders and even then there were only a handful.
I decided to then head up the coast (on my way home anyway) to my normal hang-out for surfing photos, Huntington Beach, this time, the south side. Most contests are held on the south side of the pier and I noticed that workers seem to be preparing for one. There were also a few photographers pointing their lenses toward the waves and a lot of surfers. Although a bit choppy with a slight current heading southwest to northeast, the waves were much larger than at The Wedge. They were breaking at about 4-6 with an occasional 8 footer, which gave those lucky enough to be in the water a great ride.
I walked up to one of the photographers and asked what was going on. Turned out he was one of the coaches on a team of surfers practicing for the National Scholastic Surfing Associations’ (NSSA) Regional Championships scheduled this week, from Wednesday, May 18 through Sunday, May 22, 2022. Mike used to be a professional surfer and is now in college working toward an MBA. He told me he loves the sport and more specifically wants to encourage the next generation of surfers to be the best they can be.
Mike’s story is important because he is getting his education. The NSSA is the only national surfing association that requires its members to maintain a good GPA to continue competing in its contests. It is important to the NSSA that its members not only become good surfers but also get a good education and expand their minds for the future whether that is in surfing or in any other career. I hope to get some more captures this Friday.
While speaking to Mike and the other coaches around us, a couple of surfers came up to us. They looked at Mike and said something in a language I did not recognize. To my surprise, Mike spoke back to them in the same language! It sounded eastern European or even Russian, but in fact, these two were from Brazil and they were speaking Portuguese. Mike later told me that his mother is from Brazil and taught him how to speak Portuguese when he was growing up. They saw our cameras and asked if we could take their pictures while they were surfing. Since Mike and the other coaches were leaving, they asked how much I would charge to take their photos. I told them I was only going to be there another hour, but I wouldn’t charge them anything. I was already out there taking pictures, so why not? I took a bunch for them, but I’ll post a few here as well.
In staying there longer than I anticipated, I totally forgot to put suntan lotion on and now my face looks like “Bob, the tomato!” I won’t post any pictures of that, ha! It was a great day to get out and about, running errands and getting some fresh air and exercise, which is very medicinal.