Saturday, December 20, 2014
Mission Beaches Belmont Park in San Diego has a large flow rider wave that curls into a tube. Our intrepid group sat for several hours at dusk watching beginners and experts tackle the wave. It is most fun watching beginners attempt the wave. They are let out holding a tether to keep their balance. As soon as the life guard asks them to let go of the life line, they wipe out and are thrown over the top of the wave. The perpetual wave is created by jets of water that flow up a plastic ramp. One experienced surfer wore Groucho Marx glasses as he surfed the wave. His every move was relaxed and confident. He would disappear inside the tube and then burst out in a flash of spray just when you started to wonder if he had wiped out. It is possible to lie back on the wave and bounce back upright since the wave has a solid base.
Watching the flow riders is an infinitely entertaining way to spend an afternoon. It became even more relaxing as we sipped margaritas. When we had our fill we walked back down the beach to our apartment where we played card games to pass the time. Up until I was ten years old, my family always rented a bungalow at the Jersey shore. Spending this much time at the beach brought those childhood memories back. My family would play Monopoly late into the night and I remember creating my own boogie board out of plywood. I never graduated to surfing unfortunately. The little kids that rode the flow rider wave always seemed to learn quickly since their center of gravity is already low.