sandbar in Dana Point Harbor on a winter evening

I Expected Too Much from You, 2022

I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed, 2022.

It’s been a year…for all of two months.

2022 has reared its psychotic head to the tune of minimal swell and maximum stress, which is why there’s been a real gap in blog posts (sorry). Grad school, day job and relationships have amounted atop my back and relentlessly beat it, gorilla status, into a pulp. I write for up to 14 hours a day sometimes…research literature reviews on women in generational leadership and startups pivoting, science-y technologies that make my neurons cross and more.

I think I need glasses.

And Advil.

Decent swell has left many a-SoCal surfers chomping at the bit, relentlessly waiting for those cold-water peaks to don the horizons of their local and not-so-local (read: Trestles) breaks. Sending me into full-blow cray cray mode, I sought opportunities to catch up on my thousands of other hobbies to give that gorilla a shift break from its task-beating duties.

But this feels good.

Maybe not like the warm rush of a solid, 73-degree water temp wave cycling under my feet, pulling my now hippie-status hair back against my bikini, but this right here. Feels. Gud.

Though disappointment—she hit me good this season, I gave it some more thought about where this word comes from.

*Puts grad student hat on*

Oxford Dictionary defines “Disappointment” first as a sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.
Synonyms may include: disenchantment, disillusioned, frustrated, unfulfilled

“Expectation” … let’s marinate on that. I’m talking cabernet, salt and pepper and New York strip steak status. Or garlic salt, bay leaf and black beans, for all your vegans out there.

What sets us up for this grave feeling of disappointment is that very word—expectation.
I do think it’s important to have certain expectations…but what about surfing?

Regardless of conditions—flat or firing—what are your expectations when you want to surf?

Salt Creek Beach Dana Point surfer

I expect you to not dodge this barrel.

When it’s firing, do you strongly believe that you will score loads of waves amid the crowds of wave-hungry folk?

I mean, I’m sure you can and do! Especially if you beat your chest like a gorilla at Trestles. I’m guilty of that, just ask some folks at Cottons. :-o

But is that the ‘tude you want to carry? And will smiling and being friendly necessarily get you waves? I know it usually does for ladies, most of the time. But for guys, not so…


On more approps and accurate conditions from 2022 so far—when it’s flat, or semi-flat, what is your expectation?

I’m not saying “abandon all hope ye who enter here” status. I’m saying marinate on the concept of expecting versus accepting.

This cheesy, but true statement has been plastered all over the Pinterest-sphere and modern farmhouse driftwood décor since 2010:

accept what is let go of what was have faith in what will be

You churn your own butter for that cheese? Accept this cheesy saying.

Accept that the waves will probably suck, let go of that last fleeting epic swell where you scored a stand-up barrel, and have faith that those barrels will be back to slot you or own you. 😉

Expectations deserve some marinade…New York strip steak, guys, NY strip steak….

What To Do When It’s Flat

Flat but pretty view of Dana Point.

Flat but pretty view of Dana Point.

The dog days of summer are almost over and soon enough the groms will be back in school and hopefully some form of swell will grace our coastline. Until then, we have minimal surf in Socal waters and I don’t know about you, but I’m slowly going crazy.

Some say this has been the longest flat spell we’ve had in years. Coupled with unseasonably cooler water temps and no significant swell on the horizon, it’s a recipe that can spurt either craziness or creativeness among surfers.
 So step back from that ledge and listen up! Here are a couple of ways to stay out of the loony bin during a torturous flat period:

1.) Stay in shape!
A lot of methods can fall under this category and if you don’t have the  budget to travel in search of swell, it’s always good to keep that bod toned for the next swell that WILL show up soon. Go for a hike or run, take up a new activity like paddleboarding or join a bootcamp. Go on a snorkel adventure, swim laps, pump iron. Even if it’s just 20 minutes a day, staying physically active is an important part of any daily routine. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, exercise improves your mood and relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety along with a bunch of other benefits like warding off diabetes and improving cognitive function. So the square root of Pi is….? By keeping yourself active in between summer flat spells, you’re already a step ahead of the gang physically and mentally.
Stand Up Paddleboarder Nick Lanfranco stays in shape during a severe wave drought.

Stand Up Paddleboarder Nick Lanfranco stays in shape during a severe wave drought.

2.) Fix Up Your Stick
Every board could always used a new wax job and a ding check. Try not to cry too much when you recall epic days as you scrape that wintertime wax coat off. Be assured you will be riding some waves soon enough. Go the extra mile and buy some wax remover and make that board shine like a new penny! You might find dings that are causing your board to take on water. Repair them! There are a thousand different ways to repair surfboard dings and I’m certainly no master. But if you need ‘Surfboard Ding Repair 101,’ here’s a decent vid. Who knows? You might be thankful this flat spell happened before your board “randomly” decided to de-lam.
3.) Go on an adventure!
No swell in your neck of the woods? Maybe it’s time to take a day or weekend trip to a road less traveled. Get out of the bubble and find a spot that might have a little more exposure to swell. Bring a longboard or a fish and a couple friends. Make the most of it and stop a local restaurant or farmer’s market for lunch, crack jokes, share music or talk story. Even if you don’t score surf, know that you had some good times with friends and you experienced a new place.
There are all kinds of fun activities to do when there is no surf!

There are all kinds of fun activities to do when there is no surf!

4.) Take a deep breath and don’t go insane
No matter which side of the coast you claim, flat spells can happen to the best of us. Distract yourself from slowly going crazy with activities and hobbies. Remember to take deep breaths. Ain’t no shame in snorkeling or body surfing shore break. Get out there and appreciate Mother Ocean for the other forms of oceanic entertainment she provides.