In the mid-90’s I started surfing. Luckily for me, my formative years as a surfer coincided with the advent of the internet age. As a teenage kid with a web browser, I spent countless hours reading and studying any surf-related website I could find; usually homegrown sites created by surfers for surfers. I’d spend the time I couldn’t surf, surfing the internet for surf. Amazing. Especially when you’ve been bitten by the surfing bug, but only had limited access to VHS surf movies, magazines and the rare library book to scratch the itch between trips to the beach.
The first site I frequented was the now shuttered, NewYorkSurf.com. During it’s hey-day, the site did everything from display user photos to organize events; host a bulletin board to provide surf forecasts. It was one-stop shopping for all your surfing information needs in the NY area. The site’s community provided inspiration to try new boards and techniques and planted the idea of surfing away from your home waters. When it was flat, the community would talk about fishing, or, more likely, the next hint of swell. It was informative and helped spread stoke. Great site! (Thanks, Adam.)
Before I left NY to study at the University of Miami, I found TC’s Dade County Surf Forecast. Coincidentally, it was hosted by servers at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospherics Sciences – the same school that I was enrolled to attend.
I visited the site religiously, and over time, gained a better understanding of the dynamics of Florida surf. I’d study an upcoming swell, plan an attack, and hit the road. I scored tons of great waves- I also got skunked more times than I care to remember. The point is, TC’s Dade County Surf Forecast provided the info and community I needed to survive as a surfer in Miami. (Thanks, TC)
Now, there’s more info than ever about surfing available on the internet. You can look up automated reports for thousands of places around the world. You can subscribe to an instagram feed called @surfporn that shows you nothing but the best surf shots on the web. When Samsung, a global market leader in high-tech electronics manufacturing and digital media, sponsors a live webcast from the channel of a remote reef pass in Tahiti, you know surfing has changed. It’s incredible and it’s at our fingertips.
Despite the incredible number of resources available, I am always the go-to-guy for surfing information. From my surf buddies that rely on me for forecasts, “Hey Brad! When’s this flat spell going to end?!” to the amped guy that used to work my office, “Yo dude…Should I go to Puerto Rico in January or May?” or even long-lost acquaintances,”Hi Brad. We haven’t talked since you sat next to me in 7th grade, but my girlfriends and I want to take surf lessons in Costa Rica. Where should we go?” It feels like I’m always writing advice about surfing. And you know what? I love it. It’s so fun! People get excited about what I tell them, and then I get excited for them. It’s what surfing is about.
So, I started ThankYouSurfing.
NewYorkSurf.com and TC’s Dade County Surf Forecast were awesome sites. ThankYouSurfing.com is aiming to do the same. I hope you’ll share the stoked feeling and visit often.