Speak no evil

Two Tourmaline surfers, one coming in and one going out.
  • Two Tourmaline surfers, one coming in and one going out.

My surf buddy Jason McLachlan stopped by my house last night, fuming mad. He had just finished a short sunset session, so he should have been a happy guy. Here is his story:

“I just got off from work at 5:30, grabbed my board, and started walking down the hill to Tourmaline Surfing Park. My buddy had texted me at work and told me the water was 71 degrees, the surf was small but clean, and I should get myself out there. I know it’s small, but I just wanted to get out in the ocean and calm down the soul from a tough day at work. As I get into the parking lot, I walk by one of the regulars drying off from their surf session. He happily tells me that it was really good an hour ago, and I should have gotten here sooner. I should just turn around and go back up the hill.

“That just set me off. Here I work all day, busting my ass, and this guy who can surf anytime he wants tells me I should have got here sooner. I got there as soon as I could — I didn’t even check the conditions on Surfline. And the first thing I hear when I get to the parking lot is something negative like that. It just bummed me out.”

There are only three things that you should ever say to someone heading into the surf when you just got out:

  1. The water seems a bit warmer today.
  2. I think the surf is picking up.
  3. The wind appears to be backing off in the last few minutes.

You should always say this, even if the water is colder today, the surf is getting smaller, and the wind is beginning to howl. If the surfer is obviously committed, why not make them happier about their decision to go out. Just thinking the water is warmer makes it warmer. And if you think the surf is picking up, it makes it a lot easier to wait for a wave. Being optimistic about your surf session is a good thing.

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