What Is the Key Ingredient to an Epic Surf Session?

On Saturday I had one of the best surf sessions I’ve ever had.  On Sunday I had one of the poorest sessions ever.  (Granted I didn’t break any bones or boards, but as far as surfing went, it stunk (totally my fault).)  So, naturally I started comparing and contrasting both days curious to figure out what the formula is for an epic day.  The list is pretty simple:

  • Wave Size – Without a certain amount of size there are no maneuvers which limits expression.
  • Waves Shape – There’s some give in this requirement.  But the waves are just walling out or storm chopped, even if the size is there, it’s a no-go.
  • Ride Length – If I spend the whole of a momentary ride planning my exit strategy due to shore break or walls, not fun. I have to have some face time on the wave
  • Wave Frequency – Are the set coming at a good pace, or do I have to bob for 20-30 minutes between sets?  Can I collect a high wave count for the session?  Having one or two great waves is wonderful, but if that’s all I catch, it can be dissatisfying.
  • Friends – Do I have someone to share the experience with.  This is a philisophical tree-in-the-forest situation.  If a surfer dominates a wave, but there’s no friend to hear about it, does it count?
  • Personal Performance – Am I on par, or am I flubbing the take-offs and bottom turns.  Am I squeezing everything you can out of the wave?  Am I pushing myself to new frontiers?

After I though up my list, I started looking at it from the other way around – what would be the bare minimum to have an epic day, which of these ingredients could I give up?  Then I hit upon the latest EPF poll question!  Of the epic ingredients, which most crucial to having an epic session?

[poll id=”13″]


  1. DR on 12 January 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Not sure if thhis would go into your shape catergory, but glassy water makes any session better. 3 – 5 ft consistent A-frames rolling in on a glassy day is money.

    • Jeff on 13 January 2010 at 8:45 am

      That’s a good point, water condition do play into it. Weather might play a part too. A sunny day always raises spirits, even on mediocre days.

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