top of page

Rehabbed, Rambling, & Raring to Go

excited that there are finally waves

The amount of surfing you do on the east coast relies heavily on wave conditions, and in many cases IF there are wave conditions at all. Sometimes I'll stare at my homebreak when it's flat and wonder how we even ever get waves here. But then we do, and all is right with the world for a while. You get used to this pattern after a lifetime of living on the right coast.

West coast surfers, mainly Californians, have no idea just how difficult and frustrating it can be over here waiting for waves to come. I suspect many of them would've never started surfing if they grew up in these parts. I mean everyone always told me that there were never waves in Florida, so I'm not sure what I've been doing all these years.

clean overhead waves in FL, get out there

But those of us in the know understand that there are parts of the year where the east coast gets the goods. So your availability is the only obstacle. You gotta go when it's firing. If you wait for later, you will be disappointed. We have a saying in my neighborhood that if it looks good while you're checking it, it's already too late. This "drop everything and go" mentality is a must for all east coast surfers. And this may be why our partners find us a bit challenging to live with when the surf forecast is calling for waves. They just know, no plans are locked-in, if waves happen, there's going to be some schedule juggling to get in the water.

I've seen a lot of folks give up surfing in their 30s and 40s. I hear the "I used to surf" line a lot, especially from the people implying that I should just grow up and start golfing or something. But the other part of the "used to surf" crowd are actually not surfing anymore due to injury and body limitations. So when I meet another lifelong surfer in their 50's, or older, I have a lot of respect for them. If they're an east coaster, even more, because I know just how much dedication it takes to keep paddling out.

Recently, I've just overcome the longest string of injuries I can remember in my entire life. Outside of the torn ligaments in my teenaged years playing ball sports, and a couple of bad years in my 20's with a lower disc issue, I've been able to avoid the injury bug for the most part. I also think being wrapped up tight in layers of rubber for a dozen years up in New England helped preserve my surfing career as well.

fa-fa-fa freezing, rubber head to toe

Having to wear a full suit year-round was like having an ace bandage on my entire body while I surf... total body compression. There's also the cold-water factor and all the compelling evidence of the benefits. But moving back to Florida and being retired had me in a pair of trunks, cracking lips for days on end, with no compression, and no protection. Believe me, I do all the stretches, daily. I hydrate. I ride my bike. I skateboard. I do massive amounts of yard work. I'm always moving. But despite this, my body could not take the beating I bestowed upon it. First there was the rotator cuff, then the left side sciatica, followed by more rotator cuff. Then when I was finally passed those I aggravated my right side sciatica, then I strained my quad, followed by a week of painful muscle spasms behind my left shoulder blade. Throw in a bout with Covid and a nasty 2 weeks with a stye in my eye. Dude.

So I missed a lot of days when good waves were rolling-in this past April and May. I did manage a few sessions as I rehabbed and recovered. But as of two weeks ago I'm back to my 100% (which is actually like 40% if we're comparing it to myself at age 22) and just in time for the summer flat conditions! Yewww!

But I feel physically strong right now, and I'm really just waiting on some waves to get back into better surfing shape. There have been a few surf events lately, with uncooperative winds and tides, but enough to get out and paddle around. Ducking, diving, and dodging choppy sloppy waves is definitely a workout. I even scored a few good rides hunting sets in the neighborhood the first couple days of June. Below I posted a few pictures from May, that I grabbed from the beach cam, and one wave from the first two surf sessions I had after being out for more than 6 weeks. Fingers crossed I miss less days moving forward. I just need that surf forecast to be a little more positive with the outlook, sheesh.

the shred doctor is a licensed chiropractor

Oh, and I just wanted to give a shout-out to the Shred Doctor for helping me work through all of my aches and pains the past couple months. Corey Howell is an outstanding therapist, chiropractor, and sports trainer who really knows how to focus-in on surfing-specific injuries. You don't have to explain that spot behind your shoulder blade, or the nature of your neck and lower back pain. Corey understands. So if you live in the area, don't let that nagging sciatic event, shoulder pain, or stiff neck keep you out of the water... hustle on over to see the Shred Doctor at Central Florida Health, you won't regret it.

Hope you're surfing where you are!



bottom of page