A year and a half ago I moved to Australia, for a few years prior I was living in Canada. As beautiful as Canada was, there's evidently limited surf. During my time in Vancouver, I remember a colleague telling me; “You can certainly surf at Tofino!”, puzzled and amazed I simply asked “How far away is Tofino?” he answered “Like a 6-hour road trip I think?” 6 fucking hours of travel time to surf? I love surfing but I will not travel by ferry and car for 6 hours to go surfing. My bank balance alone wouldn’t survive that trip.
Since moving to Australia, I have been reacquainted with surfing (there's a post on this so no need to bore you with the details). My travel time these days from North Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast is roughly an hour. For those of you who have travelled on the Bruce Highway will know traffic is fucking mental on weekends. Sadly, I have to work for a living so I don’t have the luxury of surfing during the week, only on weekends. Traffic is hectic on the Bruce Highway, so I have to make sure I am leaving the house no later than 7.30am to skip the traffic.
Got me thinking, what's an acceptable travel time for surfing?
A slightly odd and perplexing subject matter, but back home in Cornwall the travel time to my local break was roughly 10 minutes. Looking back on this I have since realised what a sheer privilege it was to have surfable waves literally on my doorstep. I don’t mind my hour commute, sometimes I enjoy it. There's always slight anticipation heading through the Glass Mountains, simply not knowing what's in store for me as I surf Maroochydore.
Then there are the days where it all goes to shit; shit waves, not in the right frame of mind, run-in with another surfer. The excuses are endless. I drive home with guilt and anger, feeling like I have wasted a huge chunk of my time and fucked the weekend over. Why did I surf in terrible conditions when I could have done something more productive? The reflections spew over and over during the hour drive.
For me personally, I hate having to drive for hours just to surf. I am my own worse nightmare because inevitably, I have to surf. Perhaps I am another spoilt kid growing up by the ocean and now as an adult throws his toys out of the pram and whines over a matter not even worth talking about, I don’t care. When I work Monday to Friday, my weekends are precious and so are my hours. Call me the quick-fix surfer but I just want the closest break with good conditions and knowing I have used my time effectively. Perhaps this reflects the fast-paced world we have allowed civilization to adopt, but for now, I won't be driving close to 2 hours to Noosa just to surf possibly shit waves!
Over and out.