Autumn conjures up cozy visions of rust colored leaves falling from half naked trees. Comfy warm sweaters wrapping around bone-chilled bodies. Hot tea steam singing from the stove-top as the Weather Channel warns of falling temperatures. Lovers cuddling by the crackling fire as daylight shortens and summer’s glowing memories are stored away with forgotten swimsuits. The icy sounds of northerly winds return to jingle the chimes and the rancid stench of booties flows out from the closet to ruin the placid autumnal moment.

Not booty, like knockin boots, but booties like 3mm split toe. The grotesque squish of remnants from a surf five months ago spilling out of the stiff cold water accessory. The God-awful aroma of a longsleeve rash guard left wet in the bottom of a bag clinging to the air as you wince and pull this hideous mess over your head. The icy temperature of the forgotten accouterments is a warm up for the first duck dive of winter that will split your head where the vein runs between your eyes.

How can the feeling of struggling into a cold wet 4mm wetsuit and squeezing your swollen melon into a neoprene hood bring us to such a marvelous place? A place where surfing is right and timely and easier to be stoked about. Fall is the truth in East Coast surfing. Summer is but a whiff of luck that sometimes shines on surfers but mostly shits. Fall is wondrous. The large swells roll from the north like logging trucks spilling their load and the water is still tolerable before the subzero plunge brought by the onslaught of true winter. Fall means losing daylight and gaining swell. Diminishing crowds and growing stoke. A chance to get away from ‘the surfing beach’ and unwind solo if you choose.

Embrace the gut-wrenching odor of wetsuit accessories and climb to new heights of surf beatitude. Slosh into the long forgotten booties and feel the love of true surf spirit. Or you could get new booties and an air freshener.


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