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It has been more than six months since I surfed on the Oregon Coast. That is far too long.
I headed out Saturday, given the forecast and smaller waves that still suit my skill level at my favorite Oregon surfing beach, Seaside.
I caught 19 waves that I count as rides, and yes I count. I had some nice long ones, choppy short ones, and many in between. The skies were overcast, giving the water a beautiful, translucent green hue. I had forgotten how beautiful waves can be, to seem them barrel as you try to beat the them before they break on your board as you paddle out.
Hours after coming home I realized just how much I had overdone it. I knew the last five waves probably should have been avoided. Too many things hurt—shoulders, chest, neck. However, my Black Butte Porter never tasted better and my sleep was the most restful in months.
I took this shot of the few surfers who were still out in the water when I pulled out early Saturday evening.
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There are some days that make up for weeks, if not months, of sub par surfing conditions. That day came on March 4, 2018. The conditions called for gusty winds, but instead Seaside was not hit by north blowing winds. Instead, surfers and other beach visitors were granted to beautiful sets of two- to four-foot waves for hours.
Given my skill level, this was ideal. Usually, the Oregon Coast is feisty. Waves are large and roaring. They crash with a thunderous roar, without a nice gentle peel you see in countless videos of “perfect beaches” and “perfect waves.”
I caught almost 25 waves that chilly day (it was almost freezing when I arrived). Two of those for me felt sublime. I positioned my board correctly and both times headed right. Both times, I caught a lovely wave face and could stroke it with my gloved hand. I didn’t think about doing that. The action felt more like reflex. Those moments washed away days when I was pummeled here by large, crashing surf. I can still picture those moments in my head, and I dream of more to com.
A surfer catches a clean break at Pacific City, south of Cape Kiwanda, Oregon.
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Last year, I shared a series of photos I took at Pacific City, one of the best surfing beaches in Oregon. I captured this one on a sunny, calm morning of May 19, 2017. It is a beautiful place when the conditions are right. The sea stack provides a iconic backdrop for surfers navigating the waves.
I just turned this shot into a cloth print and have it hanging on my living room wall. It makes me smile and brings me back to that perfect morning when the waves, wind and tide were just right.
The surf on South Ponto Beach was perfect on May 2, 2016. I mean it was divine.
This photo, taken at South Ponto Beach in San Diego County, came courtesy of mediocre and now very old camera. Who cares. the picture does the talking. Yeah, life can be real, real, real good! Click on the picture to open a larger photo on a separate picture page.