Definition: as·sess1. evaluate or estimate the nature, ability, or quality of.
Assessing the surf involves keen observation skills. Yes, sometimes you don't care what conditions are like... You have made it to the beach and you are OUT THERE! Or, you saw the surf online and it didn't look very good from the online cameras, so you're not going to bother. But, if you find yourself at the beach with surfboard in hand, check in with nature before paddling out.
Ask yourself these 3 things: 1. Is the tide coming in or going out? 2. Where are the waves breaking most consistently? 3. What are the crowds like? Are there peaks to surf without the crowds?!
Begin to answer these questions for yourself and you'll become increasingly more in tune with your surroundings. The more in tune you are, the more waves you will catch and more relaxed you will be in the ocean.
Photo: Julie assessing the surf in Todos Santos, Mexico. Credit: Lori Adamski-Peak for Athleta
Written by: Julie Cox