It has been said that any day you go into the ocean is a good day. Getting down to the beach, putting on a wetsuit, and watching all of the surfers in the parking lot are just the prelude to entering the water. Many surfers have a whole stretch/meditation routine they perform at the water’s edge. Other surfers run into the water as if they had found an oasis in the desert.
For all of the land in the world there are few places where the ocean is as accessible as it is here in San Diego. Knowing that we are in a special place helps us to feel the aloha spirit.
That is the way it is supposed to be. But it isn’t always so perfect. On a busy day, trying to paddle out can be frustrating because of all the kooks that are learning how to surf on the inside break. Beginning surfers cannot see anyone around them because they are so focused on what they are doing. Once you make it past the inside, you have to watch out for people surfing and make sure you stay out of their way. Then finally you have made it to the outside and are in the line-up for a good wave.
Now comes the bad news. It takes one negative remark from another surfer to kill the aloha spirit. Even a simple “Watch where you’re going, kook!” can ruin a good surf session.
Chris Barnes, a regular at Tourmaline, told me about his surf session last week.
“There were obviously a lot of newbies in the water. One of the experienced surfers was screaming and yelling at them. I told him to back off because this is Tourmaline, where beginners have the right of way. This one guy was killing the aloha spirit for everyone in the water around him.”