Surfing v. Climbing... Complimentary Pursuits?


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El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 29, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
"I haven't done that in way too long"

Maybe we should change that.

Jonesing for both.

Trad climber
Central Coast
Jan 29, 2012 - 11:42pm PT

both good!

(for me) An awesome surf session beats a day at the crag. Way less frequent. More rare to get.

But climbing is steady and it's easier to score.

Every day of climbing is good. Just show up.
Not every day of surfing is good. Wind, tide, swell. More fickle.

Both will stoke you for sure.

They partner well together. If it's flat, go climbing!

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 30, 2012 - 12:32am PT
Hey brah I'm from earth too!

Lived in S. San Clemente.

Surfing is the only thing to make me leave my gear in storage 400 miles away.

Trad climber
los gatos. ca
Jan 30, 2012 - 12:42am PT

Being tall generally helps with climbing for me, but sure does make it hard to get barreled on smaller days.

Making crazy faces sure does seem to help though

Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 30, 2012 - 01:46am PT
I've been surfing since I was 8 (used to stand up on a boogie-board before that), climbing since ~18 months ago. I've often thought of the parallels and contrasts between the two and have thought of writing an essay on them - examples: a rack and a quiver often are worth more than the vehicle in which they are transported, or how I can show up to a crowded break and not say a single word to anyone else for my entire session, yet frequently chat it up with any climber(s) nearby or passing by. Been too lazy to actually write something up.

I have scored epic sessions by skipping out on work or showing up late for thanksgiving dinner - not as likely to happen with climbing. I'm stoked that we've finally had some decent swells since the holidays started - it was pretty sad for quite a while. Missed out on a couple days b/c of a snowboarding trip this weekend, though, but did get a little family climbing in A-hills on the way to Mammoth.

I'm glad I get to choose between some awesome pursuits. While I have had some exciting days on the rock, nothing has given me the feeling of pure stoke when kicking out after a memorable ride; whether its a barrel or just carve after carve down a perfect point. Surfing still has that something extra when it all comes together.

@eastsideunderground - your pic looks like __j_

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 30, 2012 - 02:03am PT
Green Room!

Similar subcultures. I have known many from both realms.

Jefe and Peter Hann had some good words on the comparisons.

As I look back, the two pursuits seem to balance and complement each other, but at the time no one cared. It was just fun.

Big Wall climber
Jan 30, 2012 - 02:23am PT
My buddy mike did'nt care either he was having too much fun!
I thought he was going to the oil platform.

Chales i went back and posted some pictures.
i like to keep surfing and climbing.
that's me surfing staircase on a small day.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 30, 2012 - 11:15am PT
It should be noted that 3 years removed from the coastal/surfing life...
I still wake up early and check the palm trees or flags to see which direction the wind is blowing.
Hey, it's offshore...
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jan 30, 2012 - 12:09pm PT
Not climbing OR surfing... I am all for the "have a big quiver" approach. Create a quiver with skills and toys: Climbing, backcountry ski/snowboard, surfing, paragliding, mtn biking, peak bagging and throw in BASE for a couple years and then quit. Then just pick from the quiver as conditions and psyche dictate.


Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 30, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Tonight @ Tamarindo/Playa langosta.....6ft overhead.

The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Jan 30, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
Gotta echo what C Mac said, it pays to have a full bag of skills. It gets pretty good here in the Gulf of Mexi from time to time:

east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Jan 30, 2012 - 10:42pm PT
Surfstar- didn't quite get what you meant. i wish I had some better surf shots . I need a scanner for some of the better shots I have. I grew up in your neck of the woods and still do most of my surfing around Pt Conception and central cal. Hoping for a trip to WARM water soon!!!!! Warbler, hope your ankle heals to let you back in the line-up and pack that kid up and go!. Jefe, GET SOME my man!!!.
edit ,I know I've posted this shot before but I love the vibe!!!!
Jim Clipper

from: forests to tree farms
Jan 31, 2012 - 12:33am PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Isn't there one out there of Obama too.

Mahalo to the Hawaii people. Maybe finally helping us find that all kids are golden, and you too ...


Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 31, 2012 - 01:21am PT
eastsideunderground - that first pic looks like c_j_ - don't like to name spots ;)

local gem

Mucci I'm jealous if you're down there right now. My warm water bottom turn shot is from Playa Negra and here's a couple Tamarindo sunsets:

fun estuary session
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Jan 31, 2012 - 10:00am PT
Jim Clipper

from: forests to tree farms
Jan 31, 2012 - 10:08am PT
Worlds Largess Surfboard !!!

Sorry that I can't post the picture. Maybe later.

It ain't about the quiver or the gear?!!!


Jan 31, 2012 - 10:55am PT
Eastside is that a pic from one of the Channel Islands (not sayin :) ) ?????
Goin to Jalama for a week tomorrow. Yay.

Bob J.
Jim Clipper

from: forests to tree farms
Jan 31, 2012 - 11:55am PT

any more cars on the island and ...

rising ocean, slowly growing reefs, changing sand bars ...
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Jan 31, 2012 - 09:55pm PT
any comparison of surf comps vs climbing comps - was just watching Volcum pipe pro - Heavy- how many climbing comps risk serious injury/death? the boys took some serious beatings. Yea surfstar thats _ been surfing there since I was sixteen - love that wave -

Trad climber
Seattle WA
Jan 31, 2012 - 10:20pm PT
I think the two are complementary in the sense that they both have a primal feel to them; but since they're different elements, rock and water, it makes sense that the nature (pun intended) of the challenges and opportunities that each presents is complementary.

(Disclaimer: Most of my surfing has been on the Washington coast, often not many people out. I've never surfed a crowded SoCal break. That might feel more primal in some ways, but probably less in others.)

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