WeissCrax: February Madness

The words shot out of my mouth with zero hope of pulling ‘em back…“Sure. Sounds like fun.”

It was my response to my friend Mike’s “Why-don’t-you-join-me-on-Sunday” prompting.

The truth is…

I hadn’t been surfing in nearly 40 years!!

Growing up on the East Coast, skim boarding was my game. That little round disc thrown at water’s edge provided many rocket rides. Had a big surfboard but was always a hassle lugging to the beach. Plus, once there – no waves. Every time.

It was all a distant memory.

Until today….

Before I knew it, Sunday and Mike were here. He strapped my daughter’s surfboard on his rig and we were off!

First things first: Mike Rattray makes sure the boards are securely fastened before taking off for the beach.

Anyway, us two surfer dudes were heading to Devereux Point. The temperature was a balmy 80 degrees. Not bad for mid-February. Especially with blizzard-like conditions across the USA.

We traveled down Isla Vista side roads until a non-primo parking spot was found. Kids on skateboards….young women in bikinis around my daughters’ ages…loud music…and parties greeted us along the way.


We quickly got wetsuits on. Grabbed our stuff. Then walked briskly along the worn dirt path between the cool houses and bluffs below. Once down the narrow wooden steps to the ocean below, we were in the water in minutes.

The view was spectacular! WOW!!

“Try riding a few in the soup,” Mike suggested.

“What’s soup,” I countered.

“Whitewater close to shore.”

It was like snowboarding the bunny slopes at Mammoth Mountain. After two times, I gave up. Then paddled out towards the open sea to where the pros sat on their sleek surfboards.

There were 27 real surfers nearby. Oh, and one stand-up paddle dude.

Plenty of action in the surf at Devereux that day.

I respected their space – having seen those Hawaiian surf flicks and know what “the locals” do to non-locals who infringe on their wave action.

Hey – wait a minute!  I am a local…

Mike caught a few big waves. I was quite content to float around enjoying this new vantage point.

Longtime friends Mike and Randy all geared up and ready to go.

Kelp was everywhere. My feet got stuck a few times; otherwise I would have caught a few tsunami-like rides (I’m not kidding here).

After an hour-and-a-half, Mike said it was time to go in. My frozen fingers already knew.

But, there was one last chance for 2010 glory! A large wave was coming – the biggest one I had ever seen in my life! It caught me and propelled me forward. My speed reached 147 mph!

My greatest fear was a nose dive so I leaned back and sat on my knees.

It was at this precise moment that the most intense pain (as in “charley horses”) grabbed both my calves (sounds lame, I know, but I swear I’m not making this up). It kept me from standing (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

The good news? No wipeout.

“Did you get up?” Mike asked on the shore.

“Almost. Next time,” was my response. Am definitely coming back – soon!

We enjoyed the scenery for awhile from our beach chairs, and then it was time to go.

“C’mon,” Mike said, “Let’s stop in IV for some refreshments.”

Surfers need to stay hydrated.

We found a spot in the heart of town with tables outside and music blasting with even some old retro tunes with familiar words.

Lemme tell ya – ain’t nothin like a cold brewskee after a great day of surfing!

We soaked it all in.

Then, as one might expect in IV, a demonstration broke out. Only it was a one-man show.

“FREE HUGS,” his sign said.

Forty years later, some things never change. Take it from an old surfer dude…

Some cold drink to finish off the day

Keeping it real in IV...


  1. Kelsey Weiss says

    Dad- love you and your article – made me want my board back… you can have Taryn's : ) Maybe bring mine down to me? do some lunch? have your people call my people? word?
    p.s. I know that guy in the picture serving you beer- he went to SMHS.

  2. Dolfmon,
    I've seen you skim boarding along the “Sound”! The good old days when we didn't wait until the end of the day for refreshments!
    How about dropping me a line to reminisce.

  3. Dolfmon,
    I've seen you skim boarding along the “Sound”! The good old days when we didn't wait until the end of the day for refreshments!
    How about dropping me a line to reminisce.