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If you’ve surfed the upper Texas coast for any length of time, you’ve likely come to realize the online surf forecasting tools aren’t that much of a help when predicting the best times to surf in Galveston and Surfside.

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Yesterday was the official first day of summer, but I think all upper coast surfers would be remiss if we didn’t pause for just a second to thank our lucky stars for the decent run of springtime surf that graced our shores this year.

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Thanks to an early 1980s grassroots organization called Surf Galveston, city leaders and local surfers were able to convince the powers-that-be to establish one of the most liberal surfing ordinances of any of the developed beach cities in the United States, says longtime local waterman Peter Davis, who is also chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol.

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This year’s tour is full of drama and intrigue, with the returns of 11-time world champion Kelly Slater for his final year of competition and two-time world champion John John Florence, who was absent from the tour for much of last season with a knee injury.

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Far be it for me to determine whether someone is a “real” surfer or skateboarder. Such labeling stinks of elitism and shouldn’t have a place in the water or at the skate park.