It seems that some days you got it and other days you don’t. At least that’s true for me when it comes to catching waves and surfing well.

Throughout my time as a surfer — which eclipsed the 34-year mark recently — I’ve noticed patterns of significant advancement in my skills and periods when my surfing takes a step or two back. I’m not sure if this is just a weird trait related to my surfing or if every wave-rider experiences these ebbs and flows at some point.

I’ve found there’s nothing like a stretch where everything seems to come together when I’m in the water: Time stops, the face of the wave stretches before me as far as I can see, inviting and enticing me to take time to link the maneuvers together on the ride. Each wave feels like a celebration of movement, like everything is right in the world.

But there are those sessions where things are just off. Paddle stroke is wonky; positioning on the wave is weird; foot placement is never quite correct. I don’t have times like that often, but when I do, I blame it on old age, creaky knees or something or other.

Still, a poor day performance-wise in the water, often beats the best days I’ve had doing most other things. Also, I can never tell: My next wave might be the best I’ve ever caught.

So what gives? Does every surfer experience some sort of funk now and again?


The second annual La Izquierda Surf & Music Festival takes place Saturday at Jimmy’s on the Pier, 9001 Seawall Blvd., rain or shine. The festival features a surf competition, live music, beer tastings and art vendor booths. All proceeds from the event, which begins with registration, yoga and a free surf at 8 a.m, benefit the local Surfrider Foundation chapter. The festivities will continue up until midnight, with live music acts scheduled throughout the day.

Check out for more information.


The next stop on the World Surf League’s championship tour is Bali, Indonesia, and it’s set to get started on Monday at Keramas, a high-performance beach break wave that appeals to both the barrel-riding aficionados and the air masters on the tour.

After his win at Bells Beach, John John Florence is leading the points ratings on the men’s side while Floridian and teenage sensation Caroline Marks remains in the top spot for the women after her win at the opener and a third place at Bells.

You can catch all the action on

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

(1) comment

Kelly Naschke

I had my flow going today! It was good to meet you Stephen...especially in the surf! Keep up the good columns. I look forward to them every week.

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.