Flyer: Bruce Brown Was Wrong
There’s a section in the opening stanza of ‘The Endless Summer’ where Bruce Brown explains the catchy title of his opus.
“It occasionally gets big in California,” says Brown in his laconic drawl, “and it gets biggest in the winter time.” Yet Brown then goes on to make the claim that the warm water of summer trumps the big waves of winter so ipso facto surfers would prefer an endless summer.
Not only do I disagree with the big fella, but I disagree with him on two fronts.
You see, where I come from - the upper end of the southern portion of the East Coast - we get swells from the east in summer and from the south in winter. Between those seasons, however, we not only get a mix of the two but the intermingling of residual warm water with cold air outbreaks makes for dynamic weather systems - and that means swell, lots of it.
Yep, autumn is the surfer’s season around these parts, and it’s the same for most coasts around Australia - Queensland and NW WA being the obvious exceptions.
The days get shorter, the beaches get emptier, and the surf gets bigger and more consistent, yet unlike Bruce Brown I never find myself wishing for an endless autumn.
No, call me sentimental, but part of the appeal is the anticipation of what’s to come; of suffering through the humid months of summer with a longing for something you know is coming, but you also know will be limited. Before long it’ll be too windy, too cold, or spring will be upon us and the swell cycles are out of kilter once again.
Right now though, all the southern states are staring down favourable forecasts. The water and air are mild, the swell is on the rise, and the calendar has just ticked over into autumn.
Go and make the most of the surfer’s season.
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