In 1984 some friends talked me into a scuba class which I could take or leave at the time… until we donned our equipment in a pool and there I was in the deep end, at the bottom, breathing! It was such a cool feeling.
We finished our certification in the ocean at Monterey, Ca and did a few dives; it was great to be in open water, in forests of kelp and fish, and learning with friends. Later we took an advanced class and went up north to some rougher seas.
We dove deep, into rock caves a bit, for compass direction, and at night with glow sticks. Once we dove into rough seas during bad weather, low visibility, and at about 30 feet we noticed the top of the kelp beds going by at high speed… we were in a fast current! We surfaced in a minute so as not to hit rocks or anything and were about 100 yards from where we went down!
We also had diving experiences in Lake Tahoe and a few other places, Hawaii too. Once though, we had finished our dives for the day on the California coast and with our equipment off and just our wetsuits, we started playing in the waves. There were good sized waves and we found with our fins we could ride them in and it was fun!
So some of us took a trip to Stinson Beach, just north of San Francisco at the end of the Dipsea Trail, and we brought our wetsuits to just catch waves. We found some others doing the same, there were surfers, and people with small fins and little foam boards called boogieboards.
Next trip back we bought the little fins and each had a boogieboard with dual fins and ankle strap. This was fun, and because we wore wetsuits we were able to stay in the water for hours! I even wore my booties, gloves, and hood and could stay in the water for 3-4 hours even though the sea at Stinson is typically 57 degrees! That’s cold, and it will hit you hard when you first get in and the water filled your suit! But then you’re okay and are quite fine.
Many times we called the surf shop at Stinson to ask the wave height, 2-4 feet faces meant it was time to boogie! Since I started running the Dipsea every year from 1987 on, I would usually have the car we were in drop me off in Mill Valley and I would run the Dipsea Trail for training to the beach and meet up with everyone. It was an hour or more but the car took 30+ minutes and by the time I arrived they were just getting in the water so I was right behind them!
This gave me quite a workout! The hilly run with hundreds of stairs for 7 miles, then fighting the waves going out each time… that was a huge cardio! We even rode bikes on that hilly, twisting road to Stinson and back to Mill Valley once, its redwoods and lush ferns in many areas, very scenic!
On our many boogieboarding trips we also went down the coast to several other beaches down to Santa Cruz. We even played with surfboards although I’m not good at standing on those… similar to the skateboard or snowboard I’ve got to learn balance on a single board!
So, if you’re ever looking for a super fun thing to do, boogieboarding is a blast and great workout for a few hours! On the California coast, you’re going to need a wetsuit! Plus, I’ve been held down on larger waves of 4-8 feet faces (those are big), and the wetsuit pulls you right up fast! Till next time, God Bless,