Unless you are living along the coast, you probably aren’t thinking about getting in the ocean for some recreational activity, but maybe you should. Surfing is a great way to exercise and get to know the sea, intimately. In Monterey California, they have a local seal that swims around the bay looking for a surfer or kayaker to stop long enough for him to crawl up and sun himself. Although most states have laws that restrict you from getting close to wildlife, there is nothing stopping the wildlife from getting close to you, and if you hang out long enough around the kelp, you are sure to get a glimpse of a sea otter.
For beginner surfers and parents looking for a safe place to introduce the sport, you should try Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz, Hanalei Beach in Kauaii, Hawaii, or Launiupoko State Wayside Park in Maui, Hawaii on the Pacific side. Be sure to wear a wetsuit in Santa Cruz as the waters can get a bit chilly this time of year. For East Coasters try Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, Cocoa Beach in Flordia, or Folly Beach in South Carolina.
The Waterkeeper Swim Guide has a map of swimming and surfing areas around the country to keep you advised of any health hazards due to pollutants in the water,
Before booking a trip, be sure to check the weather and surfing conditions. If you’re not into fighting the crowds, think about going during the week or during the “off season”.