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“Everybody’s going surfin’, Surfin’ USA ..”

All of the children had wet suits that year. It was the fall of 1999. 

And if you don’t recognize that Beach Boys tune, you clicked here by mistake!

Everybody went surfing except the parents, that is, and except Alex who was only a year old. Charlie, four, is on the left.

Yep, there’s a boogie board under him! Nick here demonstrates what they were all doing.

And actually, as any real surfer would immediately recognize, the children were all boogie-boarding rather than surfing. You boogie board on a boogie board (as opposed to a surf board) and you ride the waves where they break on the shore (as opposed to where they break off shore). Steamer Lane, one of Santa Cruz’s prime surfing spots, is to the right and behind them in the above picture. The Santa Cruz Wharf is behind them.

Tom (on the left) and Daphné boogie boarding on the same wave.

Daphné and Tom shared the same wave that same afternoon. Boogie-boarding is fun for everybody! From time to time, one or other of the children would go down to the beach and take on those breakers

Surfing came later, starting seriously in the summer of 2000. But it never became a constant preoccupation. In 2004, we still had two surfboards at home, but except for Nick (and his enthusiasm waxed and waned) they did not see that much activity.

Alban turned his focus to mountain bikes and the “15 foot drops” and “jumps” that can be done with them. We try not to look. He continued skateboarding into his twenties, but dropped the surfing.

Here is Charlie doing some wild boogie-boarding in May 2004: he had jumped off the sand dune (out of the frame on the left) on to the board floating in the creek, and is falling off backwards in the picture as the board flies forward. This is the creek that cuts through Capitola beach some years.

After Nick moved out in the summer of 2005, surfing seemed almost to stop, as far as we could see. He tried to keep it up, but working as a programmer and taking a full course load at junior college did not leave him a lot of time. 

Alex mastering the boogie-board at Twin Lakes Beach in May 2004. He was six.

It’s actually a pretty scary sport, as anyone who has ever been tumbled by a wave while paddling offshore can testify. The same energy in the wave that makes riding it exciting makes floundering in it scary.

Also, surfing is also impossible to photograph from the shore with amateur equipment. Watching Nick a couple of times with camera in hand, we could never tell whether or not he was the subject in the viewfinder! The best surfing typically occurs a way off-shore. Here is an exception.

The result is that we have no real surfing photos. But living in Santa Cruz, California’s real surf city, we have to have a web page called “Surfing:” that’s the way it is! And the shots of boogie-boarding do give a feel of what fun it makes a visit to the beach.

Tom in a big wave on a boogey-board at Twin Lakes Beach, May 2004.
He’s in there all right, just getting a little bounced around!

Boogie-boarding has stood the test of time, and has given us some great photographs of our children having fun.

Charlie’s turn at Twin Lakes in May 2004. That was a pretty serious wave, as you can see from the comparable one breaking behind it.

Here is more water, in the form of swimming pools, more swimming pools, river rafting in Colorado, a great British water ride and the log ride at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Finally, on the right, more boogie-boarding . . .