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Surfing In Washington State

Ask any Washingtonian to list a number of outdoor activities, and he will spill it out : hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, climbing, camping and so on. What about surfing ? " Not really our Northwest thing " - you will be told. Not true.

Surfing may not be as popular as skiing, biking or hiking in Washington , but there are people who are brave ( or crazy, you would say ) enough to take on cold NW 4-9ft summer swells .

Two popular spots are Ocean Shores and Westport, with Ocean Shores being more of a recreational spot and Westport - " NW surfing mecca."

Westport is a pretty good bet in the summer, and believe it or not it gets crowded on week ends. Late spring and summer bring smaller waves, lighter breezes. Spring through fall is the time for most surfers. In the spring, the surf starts to dial down, and in fall it starts to dial up again.

No matter the season, surfers need full wetsuits - including gloves, hoods and booties - as the water is always in the 50-degree range. But with a good wet suit, it’s no longer painful to spend a few hours in the water ( make sure you wear full body skins under wetsuit and wool socks with your booties ).

If you are new to the sport, start on a long board. A 9 (10 )-foot long board is for more powerful movements, and its size makes it more stable, easier to stand up and keep your balance.

If learning through trial and error is not your thing, check out local surf shops for lessons and rentals. Learning how to surf is challenging ( in NW - miserable ) , but fun experience.

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