small wave riders

Our brother John has started a blog. Called small wave riders, it will chart, in the spirit of Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez, a surf trip moving south from Sonoma County, California, stopping to catch waves at favorite spots – Santa Cruz, Refugio, Leo Carillo, El Porto – making the turn in San Diego, then returning north.

A small wave is a lyric poem compared to the epic novels made famous by surfers like Greg Noll and Laird Hamilton. Hearing about the new blog and the surf trip coming up, we asked ourselves how surfing is like writing. The answer came immediately; surfing is not at all like writing. Writing is sedentary, and if physically exhausting, only because sitting in one position for extended periods is unnatural. Surfing is constant motion; even while sitting on the board waiting for a wave the surfer is watching the swells, paddling about, jockeying for position. We then asked ourselves why we are planning to spend the summer writing when we could be surfing. The answer came immediately; to misquote Robert Frost, we “have promises to keep, and miles to go before we surf.”

El Porto, Sep, 1969

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