Surf Protection, Surf Economics
August 09 2009

SurfEcon Myth Busting: Surfers are lazy

by Chad Nelsen

Sunrise Surfer from LA times

This morning, I woke up at 4:45 AM to go for a surf at dawn. I suffered through the groggy transition to wakefulness hoping to get better morning conditions and to beat the summertime crowds. I was in the water by 5:30 - 6 guys out. By 6:30 the water was already started to get crowded and by 7:30 is was packed - on a Sunday AM.

I returned home to find these two Facebook messages. Many surfers get up very, very early to go surfing either to get the best conditions (the wind if often blowing offshore), beat the crowds or to get a surf in before work or family obligations.

(Names blurred to protect the committed)

These early beach visits are one of the reasons why surfers are so hard to intercept when economists study beach visitation.

Every morning around the country legions of surfers are waking in the dark, heading to their favorite spot, often changing into a wetsuit before jumping into the chilly ocean at first light. This phenomenon is so common is has its own name - "dawn patrol".

Lazy? I don't think so.