On Catching Waves

What follows is an epiphany on catching waves. Something clicked for me today and I hope that this information could be helpful to some other person learning to surf.

On Catching Waves

The key to powerful wave catching is a combination of momentum, timing, and positioning.

Three Keys to Effective Wave Aquisition

Positioning | Timing | Momentum


Waves have a Shape of Ideal Takeoff (SIT).’ A surfer’s capacity to identify the SIT is an important point in their understanding of waves. Once the SIT is identifiable to the surfer, she should be looking for it at all times.

What is the SIT position? The SIT position is the point where the wave reaches a steepness in which the gravitational pull of the surfer’s weight drives them forward on the face of the wave.

Thoughts on Catching Waves

Great surfers can maximize momentum and catch waves that are in their ‘too early’ phase. Great surfers can catch waves in their ‘too late’ phase as well. No matter who is surfing, it’s easiest and sets her up the best, if she finds herself in that perfect SIT position.

It’s common to watch beginners paddling for waves and not catching them. It’s also common to watch beginners paddling for waves that are moments away from breaking. This often leads to them having to ride the wave out on their belly to keep from losing control. The most common reason for these failures is that they don’t know how to identify the SIT position.


The wave is coming at you at a higher level of speed than you are capable of generating. If you can achieve an amount of speed closer to that of the oncoming wave, the change in speed from your paddle speed to the wave speed will be less dramatic. A less dramatic change in speed allows for less exact timing on the part of the surfer.

In very steep, fast waves, the best surfers do not need as much momentum. I’ve seen surfers on the North Shore of Oahu catch waves without paddling at all. This is because those waves are incredibly fast and tall.

On Catching Waves

When surfing chunky, slow waves (like the ones that are all over California), it’s important to gather a lot of speed before the wave comes upon you. That’s because the waves are often slow and they break when they are fat.

When surfing slow waves, it’s more important to approach waves with high-level momentum.

When surfing faster waves, there is less importance on momentum and more on having excellent timing.

Momentum and wave speed diagram for learning to surf


Timing differs from positioning even though the two are intimately entwined. The key to timing a wave correctly is a mixture of knowing where the SIT position is and having a good deal of momentum built up so you meet that SIT position with a good deal of time.

Final Thoughts On Surfing

If the surfer can identify the SIT position in an oncoming wave, time her paddling as to carry momentum at the right time, she will have an easy time catching the wave.

When initially surfing larger waves with scarier SIT positions, it will be scary to do this. Overcoming that fear is critical. The moment I realized this was the moment I forgot to be afraid of the size of the wave.

Fearlessness can be cultivated with repetition. When learning to surf, if our surfer sets aside a month or two to live walking distance from the beach, she will have a much greater potential to learn to surf.

Paquera to Puntarenas Ferry, Costa Rica

A video about the Paquera to Puntarenas Ferry in Costa Rica. The goal of this video is to provide the viewer a preparation course so they can make a smooth crossing from Paquera to Costa Rica.

Tips for Paquera to Puntarenas Ferry

Here are a few things that surprised us:

  • When driving a vehicle onto the ferry, you can only have one passenger in the car. For example, if you and driving with three friends, all your friends have to get out of the car and walk onto the ferry.
  • Crossing as an individual is cheap, crossing with a car costs a bit more.
  • It can be a party. The music plays loud. Lots of people are drinking beer and dancing.
  • It’s exceedingly safe. This ferry is a well-oiled machine.


Please let me know if you have any questions related to the ferry in the comments below.

Montezuma Costa Rica – One Day Horse Riding and Waterfall Hiking/Diving Adventure

Montezuma Costa Rica is a bohemian town on a beach on the Nicoya Peninsula. It has a great combination of excellent adventures, fast internet a cool town and proximity to adventure. This blog details some of the things we loved on this visit to Montezuma Costa Rica.

Horseback Riding in Montezuma Costa Rica

riding horses in Montezuma Costa Rica

We rode from the town of Montezuma Costa Rica, across Playa Grande to a freshwater waterfall which falls from a cliff into the ocean. Here is D-Red and V asking for a hug in the waterfall.

El Chorro Waterfall in Montezuma Costa Rica

We went with a tour company called Cabo Blanco Travelers. We found them by speaking to Rodger behind the desk in downtown Montezuma. Rodger is great. He speaks Spanish and English very well. He is honest and has a real desire to help people have a great time in Montezuma. I’d go back to him to get travel to and from Montezuma and to book anything else could need while in that pretty little beach town.

Henry is the guide for the horseback ride. He is an excellent horseman. Though he doesn’t speak much English, he knows horses very well. He has a lot of love for his herd.

Hotel Lucy – Montezuma Costa Rica

Hotel Lucy is a simple hotel and that is why I love it. It’s right on the water and it’s just far enough out of town so that you don’t hear any noise at night. It’s also close enough that I could run back to the hotel from town for anything we forgot. The run took about 10 minutes for me to run from town to Hotel Lucy.

Another great thing about Hotel Lucy is that it is a very short walk to the Free Waterfalls.

When the tide comes in, it’s quite loud. I did awake to the sound of waves quite often. That is actually the best way to be woken up.

Free Waterfall close to Hotel Lucy

This place is very simple. It’s hot. We didn’t have air conditioning but we did have a fan which kept us relatively cool in the evening. They provide a single sheet which is exactly what you need in the early morning.

Waterfall Cerca de Hotel Lucy

This place is easy to check into and it’s often not booked full as they have no website or online booking operation. Coming to this hotel is an excellent way to have a Costa Rican adventure.

Want More Costa Rica?

If you’re interested in more blog posts about things in Costa Rica, check out the photos I took of a beautiful Pizzaria/Hostel called Piko Negro.

2018 State of the Union – Thoughts on President Trump’s Ideas

Notes on the 2018 State of the Union

I wanted to watch the 2018 State of the Union address in its entirety before I started watching Vox, Vice, Colbert, The Daily Show, and talking with my friends.

My Thoughts on the 2018 State of the Union

There is no doubt that I live in a bubble. Everyone I know believes that Trump is either a terrible president or he is dangerously aloof. Therefore I try to develop my own opinion from source material before I’m influenced by other’s take on the situation.

“One American Family.” – Donald Trump

Some Things that Directly Affect Us as Small Business Owners

I really like the idea of all the tax cuts and eliminating the mandated health care. During the time of the Affordable Care Act, we decided not to do the program because the monthly cost was $2,000 with a $5,000 deductible. It was super expensive catastrophy insurance so it was clearly not a wise decision for us. It makes me happy that we no longer have to pay fees for not having that bad insurance.

If the tax cuts are real, we will probably get back a good chunk of the income quarterly taxes we paid during the past year. That will be really good for us.

Eliminating Regulations?

Eliminating regulations sounds good, but it doesn’t really help if they are destroying the capacity for the EPA to regulate companies that destroy the environment for other people. That’s the main job of the government from my perspective, to regulate against market externalities.

Thoughts on Economy

It’s great to hear that he prioritizes bringing car manufacturing backlower prescription costs, build out safe/reliable US infrastructure.

He wants to support paid family leave. That seems like Trump is trying to reach out to what I would consider a more Democratic position.

A focus on helping former inmates to get a second chance at life is critical. I think the worst problem in the United States is the tremendous prison population. How can a country be called Land of the Free when we imprison the highest number of our citizens on a per capita basis? President Trump addressed this and I appreciate that sentiment.

Getting Tough on Immigration

The focus on fighting street gangs seems like a good thing. I don’t know anything about gang violence in the USA so if Trump, who has a lot of access to that info, believes fighting those gangs is so important, it’s probably good that the feds are getting the resources they need. When you watch things about the gang violence in El Salvador, it becomes clear that these are organizations that need to be cut down.

That said, I still think the wall is a stupid idea. Maybe it’s a persuasive talking point, but it’s not a cool direction in my opinion. We should just be trying to be a more open and free society. Walls are for communists.

I had never heard of chain migration… V and I know personally how stupid our immigration system. It seems like Trump is trying to modernize that system. I hope congress helps him change the process. If they make it harder for immigrants, it will be a disservice to the country.


Opioid Addiction

64,000 Americans lost to drug overdoses in America? That’s not cool. Not cool at all…

How do they get tougher on drug dealers? Aren’t the drug dealers primarily pharmaceutical companies and doctors?

I’m unaware of this problem aside from some Vice documentaries. This is a really important issue to address and it’s commendable that the White House thought it was important enough to address directly in the speech. I just hope it’s not an excuse to lock up a huge portion of the population.

Nuclear Weapons

Yikes. It’s good that Trump claims to want to eliminate all nuclear weapons. It’s not cool that he says, “[it would be great to eliminate nuclear weapons]… but we’re not there yet.”

Terrorism and Foreign Affairs

I’m generally against the dissolution of human rights under the guise of fighting terrorism.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a name I had not even heard of until this speech. I would think it’s probably a good idea that this character is locked up and his friends find it very challenging to organize.

This is why the president’s job is terrifyingly challenging. How does one protect against evil, yet protect freedom? It’s a balancing act of tremendous consequence.

Foreign Affairs

Venezuela and Cuba sanctions seem harsh… but I don’t actually know much about the cost/benefit of making the countries suffer due to the philosophies of their leaders.

I feel good knowing that the president is hard on North Korea. It’s good that he is addressing specific stories in the hope of informing the public of the horrible situation that exists in countries where freedom is limited dramatically by overpowerful despotic dictators.

Focus on Freedom

The end of the speech is all about freedom, US history, defending the American way and that sort of elegant stuff. His final words are quite pleasant. The words encourage unity, freedom and American pride. I gotta say, I’ve never heard Trump speak in a way that made me think, “wow, I like this guy.”

“There is nothing we can not achieve as long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens and trust in our god. We will never fail. Our families will thrive, our people will prosper and our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free. Thank you, and God bless America.”

Final Thoughts

President Trump is starting to sound like a real President. I hope this trend continues.

His past lies make everything he says a bit dubious. The New York Times put together a piece that leads me to believe that President Trump was generally telling the truth.

With luck, things will continue to be great in the USA and President Trump will keep acting like he did on the podium in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol. He inherited a country in great shape after former President Obama and with luck, everything will continue to be excellent in America.

The Importance of Source Material

It’s important to watch source material because it allows the watcher to develop their own opinions first.

Now, after watching the source material, when I watch Stephen Colbert (2) and Trevor Noah (both of whom I REALLY like) their shows seem dishonest. They perform a divisive comedy act that demeans The President for selected clips of him saying stupid things.

Theirs are funny, but they are reinforcing people hating Trump when his speech was essentially very good.

When I watch Vice, they do a race-based piece about responding to the State of the Union. It does a great job of complimenting the minority groups that are doing interesting stuff in the government, but it doesn’t address the good things that Trump said and his surprisingly presidential demeanor.

So source material is critical because these shows missed that very interesting development.


What are your thoughts? Did you like the speech? What do you think about the importance of watching source materials?

Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you.