My First Surfing

I had asked FB friends to help me with a problem, here’s the original ask: I’ll be going to surfing camp in the balmy 50 degree waters of Northern California next month. I’m uncomfortable in cold water. Do you have any specific recommendations for how I can keep from failing? A particular type of wetsuit or equipment? Do I want booties? A particular seller? A website with lots of info? A heartwarming word? The camp has wetsuits but I want to be very very prepared!

I got a lot of good help including finding out that my high school friend Tom was in the wetsuit business, coolio! I responded:

TLDR; surfing was awesome! Thanks! Gonna surf next week, hopefully getting pix!

Thank you all for your comments! Just having this discussion helped calm me before the adventure. I knew that the surf camp ( was providing wet suits but I had heard maybe they didn’t have enough equipment (hoods and booties, etc). Since I was going to the surf camp for 4 days (2 days last week, 2 days this upcoming week!) I figured that if there was a big problem, I could go get the right equipment after a day of surfing. Everything worked out very well! On the first day, I got a nice Patagonia 4/3 suit and, amazingly, it was warm enough! My feet were a bit cold but tolerable! On the second day, the water temperature was a little warmer (maybe 57 instead of 53?) I got a suit that wasn’t as warm in the middle but had a hood; the hood kept me nicely warm! Though it was hard to hear people unless I pulled the hood off my ear a bit. And OMG it was hard to get into that second suit! It took like 20 minutes of me and 2 other mentors pulling and yanking and jimmying! It was a funny bonding experience with my new co-workers! Once in the suit, I could feel my body had been slightly rearranged: my legs skinnier, my shoulders pulled a little back high and wide, my center of gravity felt a little higher and toward my middle! Surfing with this suit was great!

On my first day, my first surfing ever, my first ride in tipped me left off the board. The second ride tipped me nose-down into the surf, third tipped me back, and I rode the fourth wave well balanced all the way to shore! Wee! The second day the surf wasn’t as good with lots of little choppy waves but it was great fun nonetheless!

For warmth, after the first day I considered getting booties but it didn’t feel absolutely necessary. On the warmer (ha! 57 degrees!?!) day I didn’t really need booties. All this coming from a guy who won’t get into the shower until it’s good and hot!

I’ve got 2 more days of surfing this coming week. Hoping to get some good pix. I’m totally hooked




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