I've had an interesting day.
Once again the plan was to get to sleep early last night, get up early today and surf my new fin and see if helps me on my quest to become a better noserider. Once again that plan got shot to hell in a hand basket when some friends suckered me in to coming out (this time Flagler Tavern) last night, which ended around 2 a.m. Once again I was up by 7:30 a.m. with a different crew of friends and headed to the beach feeling like a bucket of crap!
The waves were fun. My bucket of crap feeling quickly dissipates as I paddle out. It's high tide and as the water starts to drop it really turns on for some really long rides down some glassy waves. I succeed in getting both feet up on the nose.... it lasts about half a second before I cross step backwards or become the next Red October. I really think the fin is helping, it's just I need a slightly better wave so the waiting game for better conditions has officially begun.
Around noon I looked to the west and see a dark thunderstorm approaching. Not a big deal since I'm exhausted and ready to leave. The only problem is everyone has the same idea and the ensuing traffic jam to get off the beach becomes my downfall.
For the record my beach car is a Jeep Wrangler. It's older (1993) and a little beat up, but perfect for the beach. I didn't like the soft top. It was a major pain to put on and take off. I threw it away years ago.
Minutes later I find myself driving through the most intense thunderstorm ever.... in a Jeep Wrangler with no top! The wind is so strong I can't tell where it's coming from. It's all Forest Gump on me and coming from every direction. Lightning crashes upon a palm tree about 50 feet from me. My windshield wipers are full speed, but useless due to the rain hitting the inside part of the window! For all you pilots out there I feel like I'm IMC with no instruments. To give you an idea of what it felt like I've included a little picture I found on the net (a slight exaggeration, hehe)
But you know what? It's exhilarating! I don't even wash off anything or take a shower when I get home. Besides from being a little "cold" I am overall super stoked about the rush and also having such a fun wave riding day!
After warming up I check the mail (forgot to yesterday) and find my new copy of Surfer Magazine waiting for me. Yes! Today is a good day. I immediately notice the headline teaser at the top of the cover, "Top 10 American Surf Towns, the best places in the U.S. to eat, sleep, work and shred."
Hmmm, probably all California and Hawaii.
I flip it open to that section and am not surprised to find Hawaii and California in the first five, but number six is Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. First of all, where the heck is that?!?! Second, maybe there's a chance for a Florida beach. Seven is back to California, meh... but wait, New York is number eight? No way! And there it was at number nine on the list:
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Number ten went back to New Jersey and that was it. No Sebastian or Cocoa Beach?
Finally, NSB is getting some recognition.
I haven't read all of them yet, but it was nice to see New Smyrna Beach. Now I wonder how the "work" factor works into their equation because as far as I know we are a BYOM (bring your own money) area and for the average Joe decent paying "work" lies else where (Orlando, Jax, etc.).
So I saw a little test at the end of the article. It reminds me of something you see in Cosmo, but instead of being something retarded about relationships it's "which town fits you?" I quickly answer the questions, add up my total and find out that New Smyrna Beach does NOT fit me. Not even close by this test. However, the two beach towns that do fit me are San Clemente and Malibu, both in California. What? I laugh to myself and then think for a second; perhaps I would fit in better out there. Malibu is a great longboard wave. Definitely something to think about a little further and I am headed to Northern California, Oregon and Washington this coming week to visit friends and family. I'm saving the rest of the magazine to read on the airplane. I'll have lots of time to think about things then, but for now I seriously need a nap.