Robert Parker in Bali

Robert Parker in Bali
blog contributor Robert Parker Surfing Bali

Sunday, March 28, 2010

drinks from the deep well of surf wisdom!


Hi Guys, not only am I an over 50's surfer but I'm an over 60's surfer as well, my board of choise is a longboard but I also have a 6'4" fish & a 7'6" 70's style single fin. I just like the longboard style surfing & that suits my style. Started surfing at 14 & I think I get more out of it today than in those early days........but 1 thing......wish the crowed was like it was back then !!!!!

Soon to make another Longboard............yeah!!!!!


Like anything worthwhile surfing is about 100% physical and another 100% mental. What is "surfing" to you? Why?

Figuring out that stuff isn't really tricky. I think whatever it was that grabbed us in the first place is probably still what motivates us. If it was being "world champion" then you are royally screwed when it comes to aging, so hopefully that wasn't it for you. When it comes to equipment you will be happier if you don't think in terms of what is "proper" and what is beneath you, but rather think in terms of what equipment lets you get the most out of the experience. In 2010 pretty much anything goes. You may have to adjust the surf spots you frequent but that is good for us all anyway.

Fitness is interesting. Others pretty much already nailed that one. I started pool swimming 5-6 days a week last year and took off about 17 pounds, but at that point my hips hurt just laying on the sand. Throttled back on swimming to 3-4 days and felt better (all this with surf time too). Let life get in the way this past late fall and winter and put about 7 pounds back on, started swimming more than 2 times a month, and found I pretty much am starting over again. Can't layoff or you really slide back.

When it comes to "longboards" don't have to go for a heavy log. There are boards in the 8'-9' range that allow most of the benefits of a longer board while not being unweildy. And if you really don't like something, trade it in or sell it. There are all kinds of transitions in life as well as in surfing.


Surfing is so much about feelings, and what we feel/want to feel can change day-to-day, even hour-to-hour. Add at least a couple of boards to your quiver--what gets you feelin' it one day won't necessarily cut it another day or at a different spot.

I'm 63 and have been surfing pretty much non-stop for 47 years, but just had an enforced lay-off of 7 months due to several cancer surgeries and the aftermath. Just prior to that, I had been feeling that the 7'5" quad egg that I was using as a reaction to the loss of quickness due to my age wasn't letting me get all that I wanted to out of the waves I was riding. I had been also using a 9'0" high-performance longboard on the smaller and/or more crowded waves, but it didn't really give much advantage since there are a whole bunch of kids and 100-lb. women riding 9'6" logs and paddling right past me.

So I made myself a couple of 6'8"s and kept the rockers at a minimum to help with entry and started having a blast with them after a short period of adjustment. Now, after the hospitalizations and treatments, with my weight down by 20 pounds, I'm a bunch weaker but still stubbornly trying to ride the shorter boards. I'm catching fewer waves, and the crowds seem more intimidating, but that zippy feeling is still in my head, and longboarding just won't cut it.

That said, yesterday was tiny but only two guys were out in front of my house, and I took the longboard out for a casual but thoroughly enjoyable session. A different feeling, but one that fit the day.

Quiver up, and just have fun.

Aloha, Chuck


To paraphrase myself, ''It's far easier to put pounds on, than to take them off!'' Don't even ask how I know. You may find a board in the 7' 10'' x 21'' or 22'' range to be quite a surprise. At that size you will catch waves easily, and I have found boards in that size range (that are properly designed) are highly maneuverable. I've ridden many different size boards, and found that size to be the ''does it all'' size board for me. Just a thought for you to consider.


  1. Great to read about your 47 years of surfing! I hope you can keep going for another 47! :)

  2. Awesome...keep surfing! I'm 45 now, don't feel old,YET, mainly riding 6.2 Zot, 6.4 nugget both McCoys also 9.6 staying short just upping the volume! Loving it!