It rained something awful over the last 2 days in San Diego. That makes the water quality crap due to crap runoff. So while I’m prevented from going in the ocean, I’ll disgorge a few things about bodysurfing I’ve been meaning to read and write about my favorite pastime.
First, here’s a quote I’ve been meaning to transcribe from Chapter 1 of Paul A. Kosten, Ph.D’s The Progressive Art of Bodysurfing: A Style Manual
To me, a wave is the canvas on which I express myself. That expression is not judged through the social consensus of who has just the other day completed the most maneuvers or the longest ride, but rather by a criterion known only to the rider. Bodysurfers judge themselves against their personal tastes, traits, and desired expressions.
Waves are aquatic transformations of wind energy, modified by earth’s geological contours. The art of bodysurfing transcends the notion of simply riding waves! A small canvas can be easily filled, yet expressing earth’s wave energy is more overwhelming and certainly requires more than the ability to simply, “ride a wave.” Big is not particularly better, especially since very big waves may shorten your life expectancy.
The book is a bit tricky to purchase. I bought it directly from Paul in 2020 but have no idea what the “correct” way to purchase The Progressive Art of Bodysurfing: A Style Manual now. It’s not on the two great books for bodysurfers post but that’s okay. I like it a lot. Among the great things it told me was okay: it’s okay to come out to the water, look at the surf, and decide it’s not the day to go out. For safety reasons, for whatever reasons. Discretion and discernment are valuable skills. And speaking of The Bodysurf Blog, it continues to create great items worth reading and looking at. The pieces on Candy Calhoun and George Freeth were particularly good.
And I’ll mention again the great photo Al took of me in December 2023.
More bodysurfing stuff in my bodysurfing tag page.