VALs, Wavestorms, overcrowding, one-day World Surf League finals, Erik Logan, harrumph. There is much to grouse about our current state of surfing and grouse I do, early and often, but today I stumbled upon a story that warmed my cold heart to its very core.
San Diego’s senior women’s boogie board club.
Ranging in age from late-40s to mid-90s, the old gals meet three times a week to slide and glide North County, most recently out at a reported 6 – 8 foot Fletcher Cove.
Charlotte Gumbrell, 95, told RISMedia, “I always feel better with my brain when I go Boogie Boarding. I’m sure it helps. Every year I say this is going to be my last year out there, but then I just keep going. If I can get out there, I’m always so happy I did.”
The women boogie together in a pack of 20, or so, directly in front of a lifeguard stand for safety and look out for each other, helping each other to their feet after a cruise etc.
“We call it turtling,” Solana Beach’s Ginny Van Meter said. “That’s the hardest part of it all. Your knees aren’t as good as they used to be, so standing back up takes a lot of work.”
Crista Stahl, 85, was worried about getting her boogie on in the time of Covid but her doctor assured her it was ok as long as they all stayed 6 feet apart in the lineup.
Patti Fitchen, 78, likes how boogie boarding keeps her in shape, saying, “It’s terrific for your thighs. You have to walk out against the surf in deep water and that’s no easy task. It’s exhilarating melding your body with the movement of the waves. That joy is priceless.”
Ain’t it just, though, and is your cold heart warm now too?