Summertime Blues

By Ryan Brower

Summer has always been thought of as the surfer’s season. The Endless Summer exemplifies this “falsehood” quite well. Warmer waters, sure who doesn’t love that? No school, a no brainer! And don’t get me started on the girls in bikinis. But these wonderful things that epitomize summer are missing one thing, WAVES!

Waves on the east coast in the summer are usually missing in action. In the summer we have the warm water our chilled bones have been craving all winter long, but we don’t have the waves that our hearts’ desire. So what is a surfer to do if there are no waves?

Making the most of what you have really applies to summer. Enjoying the sun and the beach soon grow old though. Bodysurfing the shore break and getting pounded into the sand also becomes a non-option with no swells. While at work or while enjoying a surf movie for the millionth time, I begin to think of waves that should be and waves that were.

Being from New Jersey I have surfed many times when the water was below freezing. And going through summer on the east coast makes a me long for the days when I’ll have to put on a 5/4/3, gloves, and booties for the glorious wintertime barrels that are totally uncrowded. While sitting out in the crowded summertime lineup on a day that’s only knee high makes me envision the water around me as being gray and the wind blowing hard offshore with head high barrels rolling in cleanly. Reliving the amazing drops that were made, the times when you knew everyone out in the water, and the epic days when I could barely move because I was so numbed over with coldness, and yet I couldn’t have been any happier.

These are the times I dream of. I am brought back from my “winter world” to the sound of ice cream bells and thick New York accents. I look over at my buddy who also seems upset with the lack of surf and the over population of the beach. I know he is dreaming of the same things because I can see the grayness of the winter ocean in his eyes. We both want to be in fullsuits sitting in 36-degree water at that very moment, because we know there would be waves if we were out there then.

Irony plays a big role in all of this. Winter equals waves but leaves us longing for the warmth summer has to offer. Summer equals warm bodies but leaves us in the depression that a surfer undergoes when the ocean has no swells. So we must give and take, and realize that things aren’t perfect and we must put up with the summertime blues to get the epic falls and winters that the sea bestows upon us. All I know is I wish I had my winter suit on right now because there would be a wonderful reason why I would be wearing it.

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