T-S photo by Shaun Walker
The Times-Standard had a “big surf” story Wednesday. Other than the usual dorky reference to a “surf term” (in this case, “gnarly”) and the typical use of cliche (in this case, “surfin’ safari” in the photo cutline), the piece was OK. I guess. Well, honestly, I thought it was boring. Not particularly groundbreaking to reveal that surfers don’t like to talk about their surf spots or that surfing big waves is dangerous. For readers that don’t surf, I’m not sure what the article offered other than a bunch of anonymous points-of-view and an opportunity for vicious comments on the T-S website. Granted, capturing the essence of something is hard when the participants won’t talk to you about it.
But big wave surfing in Humboldt seems to be one of those stories that cycles around once every couple of years… and the writing wasn’t offensive in any way.
“Wasn’t offensive?” That sounds snotty. So let me add: I respect the inclusion of various sensory elements and solid verbs as examples of fine writing. The foghorn, the bare feet in sand, padding and pulling; those are nice.
Here’s the updated forecast:
VERY LARGE WESTERLY SWELL WILL BUILD TONIGHT...AND REACH 28 TO 30 FT BY EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. THE SWELL WILL LIKELY CONTINUE VERY HIGH...NEAR 25 FEET...THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON. SWELL OF THIS MAGNITUDE WILL CREATE VERY HIGH AND DANGEROUS SURF. IN ADDITION...A HIGH TIDE OF 6 TO 7 FEET IS FORECAST TO OCCUR BETWEEN 8 AM TO 9 AM ON SATURDAY. THE HIGH TIDE MAY COMBINE FORCES WITH THE VERY LARGE WESTERLY SWELL TO PRODUCE MINOR COASTAL FLOODING OF NORMALLY DRY AREAS.