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Opinion: Gulf Coast Surfing is the Real Shit!

Ashton Goggans

by Ashton Goggans

Terrorizing gutless Florida peaks. Ain't a thing funner!

Three months (or has it been four? Maybe five…) of gloom and doom, fog and wind have come to an end here in San Francisco.

Save a few short hours of rare light, breathless afternoons, small southerly pulses, it’s been a summer of lowered expectations or jaded proclamations.

I haven’t surfed in months, some say! But I have.

Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with even the slightest hint of swell we’d be out there, trading logs in trunks, boiling in the balmy brine. For twenty years I lived like that.

A too-many-year-long stint in New York City, a brief foray back home, and now three years of San Francisco. I’m still a goddamned child as far as groveling goes.

For three years I’ve surfed more and better than I have in my life, even these last three months. The right boards, the right drugs, the right amount of desire, and piddly windswell feels fresh and fun and easy fucking breezy.

At night, like all of you bastards, I get lost down rabbit holes of surf clips. I’ve watched Nathan Florence’s gorgeous Chopes grinder 100 times.

I’ve fallen asleep (not out of disinterest, though!) to Sampler and Brother and Cluster – ripe with boosts and barrels and boring fucking lifestyle filler  – regularly, waking alone on my couch or in my office, my dog snoring like freight train.

But more than anything I’ve watched clips of Cory and Shea, Eric and Evan, Gorkin and Hopper, absolutely terrorizing gutless Florida peaks and Dirty Jerz beachies.

Because that’s the real shit right there.

Brighter and bigger days lie ahead for us here in the land of ripping tidal currents, schizophrenic wind and weather. Surely this fall will be a dream.

But never forget summer, you bunch of babies.