Observations of someone who surfs and rides...what are yours?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by stoke, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. stoke

    stoke ocean minded

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    Riding a surfboard and a motorcycle are very similar in the way that they both demand total concentration and as such, are a meditative, mind clearing tonic. The feeling after doing both is about the same. Relaxed, calm, clear head.

    That is the main similarity.

    The second is that piloting a motorcycle also makes you a better surfer.

    I have seen dramatic improvements in my surfing since I started riding again. Why? Well, you have to look where you want to go on a bike, and if you don't the consequences can be severe. So you learn to do it.

    On a surfboard, looking where you want to go is everything, if you don't you fall. Thing is, it can take a while to really drive this point home on a board because falling isn't that big of a deal surfing. I've been making late drops and connecting up the waves better than ever, and maintaining speed all the way down the line. All due to looking where I want to go during decreasing radius turns and picking a line in the dirt.

    The biggest difference between the two is that surfers, for the most part, all hate each other. No one talks to each other in the lineup and it's very competitive all the time. Yelling abuse at each other is common and a part of surfing.

    Motorcyclists have this "we're all in it together" attitude, so you talk to each other at stoplights, wave on the road, group rides, etc. I love that.

    If you surf and ride, what are some of your observations?
    #1
  2. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    When I'm riding, I keep an eye out for the man in the blue suit.


    When I am surfing, I keep an eye out for the man in the grey suit.

    :D


    .
    #2
  3. stoke

    stoke ocean minded

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    Good one...I wonder how many others will get the reference!?
    #3
  4. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    The thing I most often notice is - you can be a fat biker, but you can't be a fat surfer :D
    #4
  5. Rakthi

    Rakthi mopetista

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  6. LowInSlo

    LowInSlo Been here awhile

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    I had no idea surfers are so negatively competitive in the way you describe it. I'm a little surprised by that. Yeah, riders can be competitive, but the ones I know that are competitive are lovely people. Very supportive of people that ride slower. They just don't like riding that way. But then again, they're very, very good.
    #6
  7. duck

    duck Banned

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    I surf The Web. Does that count?
    #7
  8. Longboardr

    Longboardr Been here awhile

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    Both have that living in the moment feeling that I find extremely addictive. For the longest time I didn't realize it's my need for zen that drove me to spend so much time surfing and riding. I've also been able to achieve zen while fishing, machining parts, flying stunt kites, riding bicycles etc. My hobbies and the enjoyable parts of my work all centered around that zen feeling even though I didn't realize it until recently. I'm at my best when I'm not aware of anything else.



    It all depends on how crowded it is where you're surfing. I mostly surfed solo or with small groups of friends in FL and usually had a lot of ocean to myself. The jerks generally only paddled out when there was a large swell coming in. I'm a thousand miles away from my old beach now but I have a ton of fond memories of good people on the lineup.
    #8
  9. stoke

    stoke ocean minded

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    Regarding the "prickly" nature of most surfers...obviously that is not the case with just you and your surf buddies, but for the most part if you surf in a crowded area, the vibe can get pretty heavy. Competitive in not a nice way. It's just a part of the culture. Good waves are considered a limited resource.

    Motorcycling on the other hand, has this incredibly diverse population of friendly riders that are always willing to help out a fellow rider. I went on a semi-organized dual sport ride here, never met any of the people before, and all were super helpful and friendly even the really fast guys like someone mentioned above. That would never happen in the surfing world.

    As far as fat surfers: the extra weight certainly doesn't help, but there is a 300lb guy, biggest belly you've ever seen, that CHARGES big Black's in the winter. Unreal. Guy rips.

    Back to the positive stuff though...the "mindless" aspect between the two.

    The thing I like about bikes is that I can fit in the fun mind-clearing sessions in while doing what I have to do already, like commuting to work.

    One of the guys I surf with is doing his MSF course right now because he's heard of me talk about how when the surf is flat, I can just go for a ride and the feeling is the same. When I pointed out that he could also just ride to work/errands/gym/whatever, he was sold.
    #9
  10. el queso

    el queso toda su base

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    When I’m surfing, I like to “feel” the ocean, see the swell start to form and start placing myself in the optimal position. Once I drop in it’s all natural and I’m not thinking about form or looking down the line – it all just happens. When I’m riding, I’m looking up the road and setting up the next series of turns. It doesn’t come as natural as surfing, but there are similarities. Another similarity is the importance of smell; not that you need it to ride well, but the enjoyment of smelling the sea when you surf or the trees and the flowers when you ride.
    #10
  11. boinoodle

    boinoodle Old and Cautious

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    Surfing, WW kayaking, riding all work towards develop the intuitive sense needed to survive random, unpredictable events. Sight, smell and feel are all critical to "reading" the road, wave, trail and not only coming out alive, but maybe even with some style point.

    How many times have you just felt something wasn't right, started to plan or react, and avoided a holy crap moment?

    I don't think it's just time behind the bars or on the wave, it's a thought process of constantly not taking "it" for granted and always expecting that same turn you take low and hard, to be different every time.
    #11
  12. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

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    If you really want to be a more fluid rider and use your bike and body to express your riding style, take up trials for a while, you will be amazed.
    #12
  13. stoke

    stoke ocean minded

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    I totally get it about the smell; when you're surfing on big day the vapor in the air from pulverized ocean water just has this tang to it.

    Same with motorcycling, when you get out of the cage your forgotten sense of smell wakes and gives you a new overlay of sensation on what was a familiar landscape.

    And there is a LOT less room to think going down the line while surfing compared to negotiating turns on a bike. You just go like el queso mentioned.

    boinoodle brings up a good point: even if you've been on the same turn hundreds of times, every instance is different-just like every wave is different, every time and you need to flow, react, even predict. I think that really nails it, the intuitiveness required in surfing and riding are the same. Huh. Never really thought about it like that before.

    Double H-funny that you mentioned taking up trials today. I was just starting to research where I might be able to at least get some basic training or an intro course.
    #13
  14. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

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  15. el queso

    el queso toda su base

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    I haven't tried trials yet, but I'd like to.

    http://www.socaltrials.com/

    http://www.motoventures.com/

    The best money I've ever spent on riding. Did the Victorville school a few years ago and learned an amazing amount:

    http://www.shanewatts.com/
    #15
  16. miguelitro

    miguelitro Chuchaqui

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    I pretty much have to ride to surf(or burn my feet walking 15 minutes:rofl)
    [​IMG]
    Law St local since 78 by the way:deal
    Mike
    #16
  17. stoke

    stoke ocean minded

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    Just read through all of those links you guys posted up. I'm going to have to invest in some training. San Diego county looks like it has easily accessible riding for this type of stuff too...trials looks awesome.
    #17
  18. stoke

    stoke ocean minded

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    That board rack is sweet! Why did you put the board on your left vs right? I'm in the process of building a rack for my 'strom to avoid the summer parking hassles of scripps.

    Never surfed Law St a ton, but fun break. Usually caught the pier in my PB days, or PB Drive.
    #18
  19. miguelitro

    miguelitro Chuchaqui

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    bike is on the left for a couple reasons-
    The exhaust is on the right
    I mount from the right side. it is easier for me to hold up the bike with my right hand though i have never riden anything much heavier than a xr650r and '82 yz490. i guess thats a big reason:D
    I also feel that bikes tend to fall away from the kick stand more than onto it.

    Can't beat the price:D @ $25 all done:D plus fully removable.

    I grew up 5 houses up on Law st. and was either surfing out front, pb point/haremo's, sunset cliffs pretty much my entire life and have only surfed the snores/scripps a handfull of times:D
    parking in san diego sucks you got that right!
    Mike
    #19
  20. Longboardr

    Longboardr Been here awhile

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    Trials is the most fun I've had on two wheels. I got lucky and met a trials rider on a trip to Hatfield last year who got me into the sport.

    I did this 2 day Ryan Young school last year on a vintage bike and really had my eyes opened to what is possible on a trials bike.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nopt7J49_bA" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    Ryan is an excellent rider and remarkably he's a patient teacher as well, that can't be easy when you're dealing with folks so far below your skill set. This year I'm headed back on a modern bike, can't wait :clap
    #20