Surfing Montauk with Debra Rose

Winter 2021

Surfing Resolutions

Debra Rose

In a year with so much uncertainty, going through the annual exercise of setting goals or making resolutions can feel a bit futile. Within our current restrictions, pledging to travel more, explore new spots and visiting people and places are not on the top of the list. So, we asked around to see if local surfers had any local goals in mind for what might be another fickle year ahead. Here is what we heard.

Be Less Picky: Sequestered on the East End, the waves you see are the waves you get. Yes, there are many spots in which to check out and choose, but maybe it’s time to be less choosy about when and where to surf. If it can mean not surfing at all that day, or getting your head wet for a few so-so waves, is there ever a regret for having paddled out to play in the ocean?

Be More Efficient: By now we have figured out what we need to bring when we go surfing, it’s time to bridge the gap of actually doing it. Asking around for wax? Noticing the superb system your buddy has to change in the parking lot? Having to go home abruptly because you do not have a spare leash? These are simple solves if we pay attention and get our act together. You can be the person to lend the sun block next time.

Wear Earplugs: Speaking of efficiency, buy and bring your ear plugs with you, and use them year-round. We know, with all of the other steps and things you need to do especially in the winter, ear plugs (after sunblock) are the most likely essential people skip. “Next time” becomes “every time” while your poor little ears suffer in the cold and wind. Make it a habit like everything else and you will stay out of the medical office.

Be More Open: Do you show up to the beach on a mission, or do you take time to surf with those less skilled and daring than you are? Most of us can be the former, and likely avoid the friends and acquaintances that are beginners and are frequently asking us to go surfing. We were all beginners at one point, so maybe make some time to let someone improve and learn because they are surfing with you.

Take Care of Equipment: Speaking of being a beginner, remember when keeping your board, wetsuits and car protected from sand, saltwater and wax were priority? The longer you surf, the more you may let this slide. How often do you throw your suit on the car to dry, then it never actually gets rinsed? Or do you neglect cleaning the old wax off your board at the end of the season to throw on a new base coat? The car cleanliness may gradually become an afterthought. Getting back into the habit of taking care of your things keeps you from becoming sloppy and complacent, the very things you want to prevent in your surfing.

Stretch: Maybe you are one of those people that mocks the guy doing stretches on the beach, especially on a small day. Or you do not want to dramatically make it known that you are about to surf. If either applies, stretch at home, but make sure you make the time. It is important to maintain flexibility, stability and remain mobile, and stretching is an easy and essential way to contribute to that.

Be Mindful of Trash: The beach and ocean are there for all of us. While you may be tempted to step over an old can or a piece of plastic on your way to the water, please do not be shy about picking it up and throwing it out. Yes, it is not your job to clean up after others. It is your job to try your best to do the right thing. Maybe get into the habit of keeping plastic bags in your car so you may pick up spare items while checking the surf. The most important resolution at all, this habit will hopefully become just that, an automatic habit, for all of us.