As I was sitting in the lineup Wednesday, I couldn’t help but notice the hint of sea mist hovering along the seawall.

The light glaze in the sky — which creates hazy, muted sunsets in these parts — is a gentle reminder that my favorite time of year is just around the corner. The winter months, when the coast is dense with fog because of the difference between air and water temperatures, are the best for surfing here on the upper Texas coast.

The period just before and after Christmas last year was a phenomenal stretch, not only because the waves were decent but also because the thick fog created these private, hidden enclaves of wave-riding.

I recall one particular morning on the east side of the Pleasure Pier when I traded chest-high waves with John Alvarez, who owns Galveston Coffee Roasters. It was just the two us for a few hours, catching lefts toward the pier’s barnacle-encrusted pilings and then taking the conveyor-belt rip current right back out to where the waves were breaking just inside of the T-head.

The magic of that session was that we were completely obscured from view as motorists (and fellow surfers) drove along Seawall Boulevard. Visibility was such that you couldn’t see more than 50 yards or so in front of you. Which meant that not a soul joined John and I in the water that day. We had those clean, little runners all to ourselves.

The fog, its heavy white blanket hiding all but the bases of the pier’s amusement rides, also created a sound barrier, muffling traffic noises and intensifying the reverberations created by breaking waves. I envisioned we were two surfers living inside an idyllic snow globe of sorts, happily ensconced in our own wave-sharing bubble.

This week’s reminder of foggy days in the water got me thinking about the message they convey in a broader sense about life itself.

Sometimes, you have to take a chance and venture out in blind faith with no way to tell what the end result will be. No planning, no instructions, no itinerary. Just take a leap and see where the path leads you. Too often nowadays, our lives are scheduled and programmed to death.

So, in a few months, when the fog is sitting heavy along our coast and you’re trying to decide whether to paddle out, the better course is to grab your board, pull on your wetsuit and just do it. You never know what’s waiting for you just out of view. And, if you don’t take the chance, you’ll never find out.


TGSA Galveston Open set for Nov. 11-12

The Texas Gulf Surfing Association, the sanctioning body of competitive surfing in Texas, will hold its Galveston Open competition on Seawall Boulevard Nov. 11-12, depending on surf conditions. Online registration and more information can be found on the TGSA website at

Surfrider chapter meeting set for Thursday

The Surfrider Foundation Galveston Chapter will hold its monthly meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at MOD Coffeehouse, 2126 Postoffice St.

Stephen Hadley is a longtime surfer who lives and works in Galveston. If you’ve got a suggestion for a surfing-related topic you’d like to see covered in this column, email

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.