There are few times in the year I look forward to more than the end of daylight saving time.

The reason, of course, has everything to do with surfing. For me, catching waves has always been about being the early worm. As a morning person, I get up before sunrise most days and pride myself on being one of the first surfers in the water on our crisp, fall mornings.

Judging from the crowd surfing near the Pleasure Pier on Thursday morning, there are quite a few of us who feel the same way. This week was a good example of why surfing at dawn’s first light is so crucial.

When the strong cool front blew across the island overnight this week, the offshore winds were howling. No matter how large a swell might be before the frontal passage, offshore winds knock the surf down fast around these parts. The first surfers in the water were catching the biggest, best-formed waves on both sides of the pier. Within a few hours, the surf was still good but much smaller.

So, daybreak occurring an hour earlier is a big deal. It will mean a few extra waves before heading to the office or the job site. And a few more chances to feel that unmistakable lift and glide inherent to surfing that keeps us coming back swell after swell, wave after wave.

The history of daylight saving time dates back to World War I when the U.S. and many other countries, in an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power, advanced clocks by one hour until October to preserve daylight. It’s been adjusted and amended numerous times over the years, the latest being more than a decade ago when Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that called for the beginning of daylight saving time on the second Sunday in March and ending it on the first Sunday in November.

Clearly, the people supporting spring forward weren’t dawn patrol surfers. At any rate, I’m happy that its end coincides with the start of our surfing season here on the island.


The website of the local Surfrider Foundation chapter includes a summary of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draft feasibility study of the proposed coastal barrier plan. You can learn more at

I’ll take a closer look at the barrier’s possible effects on Galveston surfing in an upcoming column. Stay tuned.

Stephen Hadley is a longtime surfer who lives and works in Galveston. If you have an idea for this column, email him at

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