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How I spent my Summer Vacation Trip Report

Chris Gorman

For the first half of the summer I worked a desk job in St. Augustine, FL. Everyday I found myself sitting at my desk waiting for the clock to read 5:00. Funny how time slows during periods of great anticipation. I drove down to the beach almost everyday and got some kayak surfing in. It sure is a fun workout. The waves were generally small yet surf-able all summer due to sandbars along St. Augustine Beach. The east coast of Florida got some good swells this summer.

I learned a lot this summer about the ocean and surfers. Surfing is parallel to kayaking, two very similar sports.

  • We wait for rain, they wait for swells.
  • We worry about a bad piton, they worry about shark attacks.
  • Both related to water but kayakers Sit and surfers Stand.

Surfing is a much bigger sport; this is due to the amount of people that live near a coast. Anyone can try surfing safely in the presence of a lifeguard. Where as with kayaking there is a little bit more of a danger factor, even when kayaking down something class 2 such as the Nantahala.

I believe whitewater centers allow for a safer learning environment. Kayaking will never be as safe as surfing on a long soft sandy beach but these artificial rivers near large metropolitan areas are essential to helping our amazing sport to grow.

I digress from the point of this webpage. Let me get back to it.


Paddling back to the lineup

Some days held small waves that you took long gentle rides on. Some days held medium mushy waves, where you could wait for a bigger set and throw a blunt and some cartwheels.

Then there were the BIG days, when airscrews, backstabs, aerial blunts were all fair game. On these days the waves tower over you. Pick your waves carefully because you do not want to be in the impact zone... We got about 4 or 5 bigger swells on the east coast this summer. Conditions on them varied.

I do not have too many pictures because most of the surfing was done solo. But during one of the swells I found a photographer and got some cool shots. The waves don’t look too insanely big in photos but when you are surfing them, they are gigantic.

The scary part was that they were breaking on the shore.

About to drop in

Maybe about to throw a sick nasty blunt....maybe.

Accelerate down the face

Eating it on some small surf

One of my favorite shore break photos.

About to be high and dry on the beach

Who said there wasn't any whitewater in Florida?

Thanks for viewing.

-Chris Gorman