Surfing vs. Skiing
With over 200 sunny days in Southern California how could you not want to head anywhere but the coast. One of the most physically and mentally demanding outdoor sports is surfing. If you disagree, Try This: lay on the ground on your stomach and from that position, pop up on your two feet to a surfing stance. It is one fluid motion. Wasn’t that easy was it? Now add a rip current, anywhere from 5-50 foot waves, the balancing act of not falling off your board, dark depths of water below you, oh and depending what beach you’re at, look out for sharks. With all this in mind you have to not only be physically fit for the sport but your head has to be in the game. Have you ever seen an obese surfer? Ok, I take that back, I have actually seen a very large man in a wet suit looking like a walrus standing on what should have been a longboard but compared to his size looked like drift wood. But overall all surfers are extremely fit. The extensive arm work out of paddling out to the horizon and back in to shore and repeating can weigh heavily on your muscles. Not to mention the leg and core strength you need to stay on the board once you’ve mastered the art of getting up. Surfing uses every muscle in your body and if you are looking for a stellar workout then this is it.
Lately it has been extremely hot and all I can think about is grabbing my bikini, buying a short-bard, and a towel and heading to the beach. Which brings me to another reason why surfing outweighs skiing. IT IS FREE! Sure you have to buy a board and possibly a wet suit, but with the workout you get, it actually pays itself off instead of you spending your money at the gym. Ski lift tickets can cost in an upwards of $70 to $100 a day depending on what ski resort. And that’s not including the cost of the gear which is pricey. You’re looking at the very least at $500 minimum to buy your ski’s, poles, goggles, ski pants, etc.
Let’s look at another reason why surfing kills skiing in the polls. Three words…. Skin and Sexuality. Let me try to create visually what you would get superficially at each location.
Option 1: You drive to the beach, jump out of your car, grab your surfboard and head to the sand. You look to the left and all you see is beautifully bronzed skin stretching for miles down the coast. You look to your right, and you see a volleyball game in motion with players bouncing all around as their swim suits defy gravity. You are surrounded by sensational bodies that are soaking in the sun. Even when it’s overcast the clothing sheds to a bare minimum. There’s gorgeous steamy sweaty bodies everywhere and they are generally in good shape.
OR Choose Option 2: You drive to the mountains, get out of you car, grab your ski’s and poles and try to do your best strut in your ski boots. Which is impossible considering that ski boots seem to be created to give you the “I have something in my backside” type of look. You get to the bottom of the lift and you look to your left. You see a lot of marshmallow looking people in oversized parkas, baggy pants, and that fabulous sexy 80’s ski jumpsuit. Maybe you lie to yourself and say that it’s not about the body but maybe the person’s smile or their eyes. So you take a look to your right and see goggles, that due to their size could rival Neil Armstrong’s NASA helmut, chapped lips, and hair that has gone awry. I’ll be honest, When I’m done snowboarding for the day, I go to the chalet for a cocktail but I immediately strip down to my last bit of clothing. Who wants to look like Randy from A Christmas Story.
Surfing also does not depend on the weather as much as a slope would. Granted under rigorous storms, you shouldn’t try to tackle Pipeline’s 50+ foot waves. And if the water is too cold, you can thrown on a wet suit or you can just man up and deal with it. Many of the greats have mastered the beaches of Hawaii, Costa Rica, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and so on. And surprisingly here on the Continental West Coast we have some of the best surfing spots in the world. All the way from Washington down to Baja California. Just in the Golden State alone we dominate the ranks with Mavericks, Huntington Beach, Malibu, Rincon, Trestles, and Blacks Beach just to name a few. Speaking of Blacks Beach, sounds great on paper to know that it is a nude beach, but my disclaimer is that it is not the vision of frolicking naked woman lying on the sand brushing each others hair. Simply, don’t go there for the lack of clothing. In fact put on horse blinders if you have to, but go there for the swells for they are incredible.
On another note, when you are in the ocean paddling out, there is this feeling that comes over you as if you are one with the ocean. You can feel her power. (yep, the sea is a she) At any moment she could crush you, but if you create a perfect symphony with her then she will let you ride her out. When you get up on that board and look out to either side of you, you can feel your strength in a harmonious rhythm with the wave. The feeling gives you endless possibilities. At this moment she has told you that you can do anything in the world. It’s very spiritual. Just you and the ocean and its massiveness. I guess the same could go for when you’re carving the side of a mountain feeling that fresh powder spray and leering at the sea of trees you’re about to weave through is quite powerful, but to me its just not the same. The ocean consumes, and envelopes you until you become one.
To wrap this up, Surfing is a sport directly tied to nature. It’s the Earth’s way of seducing you to respect your body, soul, surroundings, and appreciate the world. It can be addicting. Consider yourself warned.