Yeah New Zealand may be good, but here in the UK you can wake up miles from the beach in glorious sunshine to reports of 4 ft glass in South Wales.
Get up, strap the boards on, drive for 3 hours into torrential freezing rain and gale force winds to find that it's actually 1-2 foot and horrifically blown out. But then you get suited up and go in anyway, because 'you drove all this way'.
You paddle out past the take-off point, by which time you can no longer feel your hands or feet because it's so cold and you have a ringing ice-cream headache.
You sit on your board and immediately get blown off the peak by the hideous cross-shore gales. You paddle against it until you can't go on, but you're now miles from where you started, so you think - 'I'll just try and catch something here' you paddle for a dribbly 1 1/2 footer, get up and it immediatly closes out on you. You try to kick out, but lose your balance cos you now can't feel any of your lower legs. You get sucked through the whitewater until you wind up in a foot of water.
You stand up and retrieve your board. Looking back out to sea you realise 'it's bleedin' miles back to the lineup' and you're shattered and numb. So you decide to call it a day and turn to go back up the beach only to find that you've drifted so far down the beach, you can't find your way back to the car cos all the dunes look the same.
After an hour of battling against the icy wind, which has blown your board out of your hand twice because your fingers can't grip any more, you make it back to the car. You try and get your wetsuit boots off, but nearly break your near-frostbitten fingers in the process.
Finally you're down to your shorts and a towell that is too small with the wind whipping sand at your shivering body. Eventually you manage to pull on some clothes and chuck everything in the car and the rains starts pouring as you get the board strapped back on. So you decide to head to the nearest cafe to buy yourself an overpriced cup of tea. You sit huddled up in a window seat so that you can make sure no-one is trying to steal your board off the roof. Finally warmth returns to your now aching body, and this new warmth releases the salt water from your sinuses which falls into your tea with a plop. You now can't drink the rest of your tea and decide to head for home.
You drive the 5 hours home (now there's traffic) and collapse on the sofa. At 2 in the morning you rush to the bathroom to be violently ill, because you have been surfing where the stormy seas have been washing the sewage outlet back into the shore.
You spend the next 2 weeks feeling like death, then finally log in to your computer. Log in to surfing-waves.com and post about your 'epic session in 4 ft glassy conditions'
Penguins & Dolphins?? Who needs em!!