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Beach Grit

Do it: The 12-Hour Surf!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Why you should milk the teats of a summer's day …

If you’re living in the northern hemi, you’re drinking in the final few weeks of summer. Soon, there’ll be no shredding before or after work, just a world of dark, and crowded weekends.

My advice? Punch out a few pre-dawn to post-dusk surfs before your part of the world starts to tilt away from the sun. Surf so much you have enough memories to drag you through winter.

Right now, north of the equator, it’s possible to surf from five-thirty am til eight pm. It ain’t easy but the rewards are magnified for reasons I’ll explain below.

1. You’ll own the lineup: First surfer out always has a proprietorship over the waves. Every single surfer who paddles out early will see you as the wave’s caretaker and will generally yield in those first few early hours. This is presuming of course that this is your regular surf spot.

2. Surf yourself into form: By surfing for over a dozen hours straight you’ll experience a sharpness in your surfing you’ve never felt before. Want to know why John John Florence and Dane Reynolds are the best two surfers in the world? They’re hippos. They boil in their tanks! They never get out!

3. Meet your surfboard: Catch a hundred-plus waves in a row, on the same day, and your surfboard will become as familiar as an old friend (or a terrible foe). Suddenly, you’ll feel your fins, the concave under the front foo

4. Experience thirst like a marooned sailor: There’ll come a point when it becomes absolutely necessary to beach a wave and suck on a tap. You hear about cats on life rafts, lost at sea, drinking seawater such is their madness. Water never tasted so fine. Better than ice-cold Coca Cola served from a dusty vending machine!

5. It’s profound: See a sun rise and watch it set on the same day and know that you’ve watched earth’s daily 360 at work.

6. The day belonged to you: You were the first in and the last out. The day belonged to you.

Satisfying? Yes and yes.