Surfing in Oregon

I don’t know these people or when they shot this video. But I’ve been these people and it was just last month.

If you’re going to surf in Oregon, you own 4 things, besides a surfboard: A wetsuit, booties, a hood & gloves. With the water temperature fluctuating from 45-55 degrees year round it’s NEVER warm. Ever. (It can be colder in August than January!)

Regardless of the time of year, the temperature of the water or the size of the waves, we surf. We surf in December when it’s 30 degrees outside. We surf when it’s sunny and small. We surf when it’s gray and choppy.

I learned to surf in the cold water. When I surf warm water, it’s like shedding a skin. The first time I was nervous. As if my wetsuit, booties, hood and gloves were my protection from whatever was swimming out there there with me.

People always ask you the same question when you say you surf. “Aren’t you afraid of sharks?” OF COURSE I AM! Who isn’t? But if I didn’t do anything I was afraid of my life would be awfully boring. Being in the water, for me, is calming. It’s cleansing. There is nothing bad. There is nothing wrong. There is not worrisome when I’m in the water. 5 people a year die of shark attacks. FIVE. Compare that to cars or even planes and you can see why I “risk” it.

I liked this video because that’s been me and my friends. So many times we’ve driven out to the cloudy Oregon coast only to get into the water for 30 minutes. Then crawl, out of the water, beat up and cold. Or you wait it out so long and it only gets bigger, colder and angrier. Then you sleep on it. You wake up to sunshine and perfect (Oregon) waves.

I’m never going to be a big-wave surfer. But I will always be an Oregon surfer.

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