Just over three weeks ago, I announced in a few places that I was seeking fifty women and nonbinary people who surf, to be potential interviewees for my book.

At some point in the past few weeks, I reduced my number to thirty, to give more word count to each profile than fifty features would allow. This will also help me meet the very tight deadline a summer 2023 book publication requires.

I’ve since held twenty-two interviews. If you’re a mathematician, you might have deduced that this is an average of one interview a day since I put out this call. And by the time I meet with the people whose interviews I’ve already scheduled, I will be past thirty, giving me breathing room if I decide to write more profiles than I expect or some people back out.

The fun topic is not the only reason interviews have come so easily. The surfing community is profoundly interconnected, passionate, and engaged. I am excited at the friendships I’ve already initiated with surfers I have interviewed.

On Sunday, I made plans to surf this evening with Christine, a fellow new surfer a few years older than I, whose hairdresser also does the hair of Danielle, a new surfer friend I met a few weeks ago.

Danielle had never met Christine; she had only heard about Christine from their shared hairdresser. Having heard that Christine surfs in Pacifica, Danielle connected me with her.

On Monday, I met Susie, one of the interviewees for my book. Susie has been surfing for a couple years and only surfs in Pacifica. She said we should meet to surf together. When I told her I was surfing with Christine and invited Susie to join us, she said yes.

Susie generously worked with me on my popup this evening. As Alvaro has said, Susie also told me I’m already popping up. I just need to keep working on it so I stay up longer each time.

Susie did not charge me; she said she likes to teach people. Alvaro had told me I should go out on my own as often as I can, which doesn’t mean I am done with lessons, just that I may need him less often than I do now, and that he’s fine with that.

Everyone’s looking for a surfing buddy. I’m delighted that I have picked up a couple already. Here I am with Susie, just after we’d both peeled off our wetsuits in the parking lot.

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About the Author: Katie Burke

Katie Burke
Katie Burke is an award-winning author, San Francisco attorney, journalist, and surfer. Her first book, Urban Playground: What Kids Say About Living in San Francisco, was critically acclaimed. Her next book, the forthcoming Sea Change: Women and Nonbinary People Reshaping Surfing Wave by Wave, is scheduled for publication in July 2023.

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