The Right Coast

April 18, 2005
Surf news
By Tom Smith

What are you supposed to do, stop surfing?

I have not given up on surfing. I'm going to try again this summer. Unfortunately, it seems to be one of those sports that require skill or at least some talent. Always a bad thing in a sport, in my book. On the up side, it's pretty pleasant even if you're not doing well. More like fishing than golf in that respect.

The boys and I watched Riding Giants on Friday night. Even if you are not partial to surfing movies, this is pretty fascinating stuff. Laird Hamilton comes across as a guy deeply impressed by the ocean and giant waves, while Greg Noll comes across as someone deeply impressed by himself. I'm glad Hamilton is the more accomplished surfer, though of course Noll was a true great and pioneer. I just wouldn't want to sit next to him on a long plane ride. Hamilton comes across as one of nature's blessed, doing something incredibly fun and for him, remunerative as well. Of course, he could be killed any day by a giant wave, so everything has tradeoffs. I am going offer surfing lessons to the kids this summer, and see if I get any takers. I'm not going to go the camp route. It is important to preserve the illusion that one is doing well.