by Michelle Panik

We couldn’t help it; laughing at campers who were trying to surf our home break was as satisfying as surfing the waves ourselves. They came from Riverside County and only got to these bluff-top campgrounds once a year for a weekend of saltwater days and beer-fueled campfire nights. Of course, they would wipe out spectacularly and, of course, we were there on the rocks to whoop it up with beers of our own, deriding their failures and lauding our skills. Until one time, when it was pushing seven feet and walled; a guy dropped in, survived the turn, and carved and flowed like a bald-freaking-eagle before kicking out with a barbaric yawp. When he came out of the water, Nacho, the gutsiest of our bunch, asked with a smirk, “You learn that in a wave pool?” But the guy just smiled and said, “I’m happy to teach you.”


Michelle Panik is a writer living on the edge of California in Carlsbad.