Tips for a Successful
Pre-work Dawn Patrol
by Hank Ten
showers -- post early morning go-out.
once boldly stated, "Work is for people who don't surf!"
Well if you're like me, you do have this minor inconvenience called
work, that can get in the way of your surfing. However, there's no
reason you can't surf AND work. Below is a list of tips for a successful
pre-work dawn patrol session. Hey, if you have to work, you might
as well get some surfing in first. Enjoy!
1. Block off
some time in advance.
In this day and age
of surf forecasting, there's no excuse for not having a good idea
when the waves will be good. I won't even explain where to look for
this info, as you probably already know. You can usually figure out
3 to 4 days in advance when the an incoming swell will hit. Once you
have a good handle on this, block off a some time on your calendar
at work, to ensure some BS meeting doesn't get scheduled and prevent
you from hitting it! I usually block off 8-10 a.m. I recommend either
a vague entry, "Meeting with SA" (in this case, SA, is a
surfing mate of mine!) or, even better, "Apt. with Dr. Taraval"
or "Dentist apt." People usually won't press you about who
you are meeting with, especially if it looks like a medical appointment.
2. Load up
sure your vehicle has a full tank o' gas the night before. You don't'
want to stop on the way to the surf, or afterwards on your way to
work. Why waste an extra 10 minutes or so at the gas station when
you could be surfing?
3. The night
when you were a kid and you had to get up super early? You'd lay out
all of your clothes and gear the night before. Precisely what you
want to do now! Neatly fold and pack up your "work clothes"
and then lay out what you'll wear to the beach. That way, you get
up, slip on your clothes and your ready to go!! Also, if you're a java head, prepare the morning brew the night before so all you
need to do is flip the switch in the a.m. Have your thermos, coffee
cup next to the pot. Finally, get your board, wetsuit, towel and work
clothes packed up in your car if you can safely do so. You want to
minimize scurrying around in the early morning hours and streamline
4. Be quiet!
is worse than a disgruntled wife who has been awoken by a fumbling,
bumbling husband at "O'dark thirty" as he is preparing for
an early morning surfing lark! You'll pay dearly if you wake her!
Slip out of bed, close the door, and be as quiet as possible until
you're out the door and in your vehicle. Then you can be as
loud as you want! On your way out the door, fill up your SunShower
or plastic jug with hot water for your post-session shower.
5. At the break
-- don't be too choosy
time is limited, like a pre-work session, don't be too choosy about
your waves! Time spent checking out multiple spots will add up and
cut into your precious water time. If you get to your spot and it
looks fairly decent, go for it! I've wasted time checking a break
up or down the beach only to find it marginally better if that, but
usually just the same. Incidentally, the same rule applies when traveling
with your significant other and he or she is gonna sit on the beach!
You don't want a long, drawn out search for waves, as this will grind
away your mate's patience!
6. Your session
an eye on the time in the water and try and maximize your wavecount
without being too greedy! Depending on conditions, I like to try and
get at least 6-10 waves to count it as a decent session. Also, you
should try and surf at least 1 hour to make it all worth it. 90 minutes
is about as much as I can get in before work... unless it's really
good in which case I'll surf all morning!
followed tip #4, then you'll have a nice hot sun shower awaiting you
at the car. Use it to rinse off so you're not too salty at
that 11 a.m. meeting!
Once at work, find a discreet parking spot (i.e. not right in
front of your boss's window cube!!) I usually make sure I'm not carrying
anything into the building that will shout that "I'm just getting
in at 10:30 a.m.!" If anything, carry a folder or some paperwork.
If you can make it undetected into the building, once in, you'll look
like you've been there awhile. Walk casually to your office, and avoid
looking to gleeful... or too guilty.
9. Don't gloat...
Chances are, you'll be stoked out all day. However, try not to
gloat or smile too broadly. If you're found out, coworkers will likely
not share in your stoke, or understand it. Draw it mild... and keep
your eye on the next swell.
Ten has been surfing for over 16 years. He enjoys juicy beach
breaks and clean, offshore, winter conditions the most. He currently
surfs and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.