That’s Bullshit! – Chapter 3

posted by / News / November 14, 2008


East Coast

I’ve always just believed the general consensus: I am inferior because I’m from the East Coast. I’m of a lesser value because of where I’m from. I mean, the waves suck there right? Like it or not, the truth is that California surf media and residents have subliminally messaged this to me and everyone else on the Right Coast our whole lives. Why would we think otherwise? We are born into the myth “The grass is greener on the other side.” That gains substantial backup when the only time we ever come over to California is pretty much for NSSA Nationals and of course we’re going to think it’s awesome because we’re surfing Lowers every day for two weeks.

Well, I’ve been living out here for a number of months now and I’ve seen enough and heard enough to now know the truth about this huge misconception. The waves are not any better out here in California. In fact, the East Coast is better. Yeah, I said it. The East Coast is better for surfing than the West Coast, among many other things. This is specifically factual for anywhere north of South Carolina, as compared to south of Los Angeles. I don’t have enough knowledge or experience to include parts of California north of Los Angeles so exclude that from this article. For all I know, it could be heaven up there, and I’ll just believe you until further notice. That plus from Florida to South Carolina is kind of a death sentence for waves, even though occasionally, they have their moments. But who doesn’t, right?

I work for a surf magazine so I’m always seeing photos from everywhere around the world, and a large quantity of those photos come from the US. What have I seen? I’ve seen perfect waves on the East Coast almost every week and bullshit waves with my own eyes every week where I live in Southern California. I’ve been through enough hellish sessions that it’s almost driven me into depression and insanity.

I came up with a term to describe this phenomenon that the East Coast is better. It’s called “Surfability”. You might’ve seen those Bud Light commercials where they claim “Drinkability”. Well I might not be a fan of actually drinking Bud Light, but you have to admit that it is very drinkable at any point in the day unlike many other beers. Well, the East Coast is very surfable, unlike Southern California.

Let’s compare here….

When you surf on the East Coast, there’s way more breaks that have good waves on any given day. You aren’t limited to only a few spots because of swell direction, tide and wind. When there’s swell, you can surf just about anywhere and get good waves. When I say get good waves, I mean a number of good waves because unlike Southern California, you don’t have to wait 10-30 minutes between each set. Waves come in non-stop and even in-between sets you can pick off fun ones. {{{CJ}}} Hobgood went as far as telling me you catch in the range two to three times as many waves per-session when you surf on the east coast compared to the west coast.

It’s a miracle if you surf in Southern California without a million dipshits in the lineup when the waves are halfway decent. On the east coast, it’d be hard to not find a spot with almost nobody out. In fact, sometimes you wish more people were out so in case of a shark attack so you’re chance of being bitten is lessened (Side note- sharks bites on the east coast usually consist of stitches, not death. Yet another plus for the right coast). This under-crowdedness in turn makes for overall less aggroness because everyone gets so many waves, why would you ever be pissed off in the lineup on the east coast? Why would you ever not be pissed off surfing on the west coast?

How about the pollution factor. I know it’s not normal that you can’t paddle out in Southern California because of this, but it happens. Never heard of such a problem back east. Isn’t even a subject. Let’s move on…


SoCal

Now you folks from So Cal are probably fuming and clinging to your only advantage over the east coast which is consistent swell in the water. People might argue that Southern California has more consistent swell action and they might be right. That however does not translate into better waves by default. Don’t get too excited. The east coast gets more swell than you think. If you were to compare wave heights on average between there and here, you’d come to find there isn’t much of a difference. The kicker here is that nobody cares if you get a little more consistent swell, because that long interval crap is useless anyway. Guess what. It closes out {{{90}}}% of the time and you have to wait forever in-between your chances to potentially catch a corner on a closed out piece of shit. Not anyone’s idea of fun. Back east, the shorter interval swells make for less close-outs, more sections to rip apart or get barreled on, and like I said before less waiting between waves.

West coasters would now put up their dukes and throw the “combo-swells” jab. Good for you. Those happen once a blue moon and are way over-hyped and over-rated. It’s sad because the people over here just get overly excited because they are so used to seeing mile-long closeouts. I can’t blame them for celebrating once every couple months when it finally gets peaky. You deserve better.

It all goes hand in hand out here in Southern California. Inconsistent sets, closeouts, crowds, polluted water, limited number of breaks, and over-aggressiveness. I’m not even touching on paying for parking and using a wetsuit all year long. That’s for another day. The reality of the situation is that it actually blows ass out here compared to back east. The next time I hear some elitist kook rave about the waves here or insult the east coast, I will again have to resist my temptation to knock them out and just end up laughing about it. Because that’s really all there is to do: just laugh, and think of all the years I spent believing these people, who really have no clue what’s going on.

When it’s all said and done, both places have potential to produce good waves. Every dog has his day. The dogs on the east coast just have more of them. I’m just pissed about the lies I’ve been fed my whole life, and I now know the truth.

That’s some bullshit, folks.

-Jimmicane

Send hate/love mail to: jimmy@surfingmagazine.com

CATCH UP ON PREVIOUS “THAT’S BULLSH*T!” CHAPTERS:
CHAPTER 1: Wavepools
CHAPTER 2: Beach Alcohol Bans

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