Sorry, your version of Internet Explorer is too old to view properly.

Why not try Chrome instead.



Corky Carroll on the ideal surfing crowd

Elbow to elbow © Tim Hain 

Corky Carroll

You can have too many friends — all at once

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 November, 2012 : - - Anybody who surfs with any frequency these days will confirm that we are living in a time of insanely crowded conditions here in our local waters. When I was a kid growing up in the shadow of the Huntington Beach Pier, there were lots of people on both sides of the pier on any given morning. But if you went a block north or south, you could find a peak all by yourself.

Those days are only a fond, and fading, memory. Today you can stand on the pier, and for as far as you can see in either direction are massive amounts of surfers all over every single scrap of a wave that dares to try to make its way to the beach. It's very rare to get any open space to yourself. Which brings me to last night on my deck, when my neighbor, the infamous "Iguana," and I got into a deep and profound discussion about the "ideal" surfing crowd.

I have been spending a lot of time surfing in the tropics during our summer. That is a time when almost nobody travels to warmer climates. It's I would say I had at least 30 days of amazing surf with only me out this past summer, and 30 more with only a few others in the water. Then I am standing on the local pier and trying to get stoked to paddle out with a cast of thousands.

So, what is the ideal surfing crowd? That was the question we debated for hours while in the midst of trying to perfect a combination of ingredients for the already amazing "Corkarita." Solo? While it's great to be able to take any wave you want, there are some drawbacks to surfing alone. Aside from the danger element of getting hurt and having nobody to help you, there is also the fact that there is nobody to bear witness to your "most amazing triple tube off the lip totally sick barrel" that you always get when nobody is looking.

And there is that little thing where your mind starts playing tricks on you and you start to see "fins" in every shadow, and you can swear you hear "Jaws" music. Obviously you don't want too many people. What we came up with is that three to five is a very workable number for a good surfing session. That is a small enough pack so that everybody is getting all the waves they want and is not competitive for position. Also, providing everyone is friends, it's a good number to feed the stoke and pump each other on.

Like this morning, the Iguana and I were rooting each other on. On one set I yelled for him to go. But he said his leg fell asleep and he wasn't ready. So he yelled for me to go, but I had a cramp in my calf. Well, we are old ... but still stoked, even if we spend more time sitting outside waiting for the monster bomb sets than we do actually riding them.

Source: Corky's Blog

Author: Corky Carroll /

Tags: Surf Culture, Corky Carroll, Tom Curren

Corky's Blog - Surfersvillage


Latest photos


Follow us and sign up to our daily newsletter