He did it! 10,407 days after beginning what is now the most legendary streak of consecutive days surfed, Dale “Daily” Webster has achieved his goal. On February 29, 2004, on a cold, gray winter morning at Doran Park in Sonoma County, California, Dale paddled out for his ritualistic “three waves to the beach.” Everyday for more than 28 years Dale has taken a bare minimum of three waves to the beach. Rain or shine, storm swell or flat spell…every single day. It started with the Monster from New Zealand swell of 1975. From there, Webster set his heart to “never missing waves like that again.” As he surfed day after day in 1975, Dale pondered what to do with his surfing streak. It turned into the quest to surf for an entire lunar cycle, 28-plus years according to Dale’s original research (once the Internet was invented he came to find out a lunar cycle was only 18-plus years, but true to his conviction he stayed the course on his original date of 2-29-04, that and he was already more than 20 years into it).
With that being said, the next obvious question is what does tomorrow have in store for Daily? As he reckons, “I can’t really see not going surfing tomorrow. It’s another day, and that’s what I do, surf everyday.”
Webster, featured star of Dana Brown’s Step Into Liquid, hasn’t missed a day of surfing since September 3, 1975. He’s holds the Guiness Book of Records for most confirmed days surfing (the last edition-printed 18 months ago-recognized him for 10,000 days). He also makes any streak Joe DiMaggio, Cal Ripken, Bill Romanowski or any other professional athlete endured look like tiny baby steps. After getting out of the water on February 29, 2004 he humbly commented, “Anybody can do what I did. If you love it enough you can do anything. All you have to do is start surfing today, and not stop until 2032.”
From President Ford through President Bush (two Bushes actually) Dale’s been at it. The week he started was the first week of NBC’s risky new comedy show, Saturday Night Live. Belushi and Farley have both since passed. Saturday Night Fever and Eight Mile have come and gone. AIDS was discovered. The personal computer was invented. The Internet bubble burst. Vietnam ended. And now we’ve been to war in Iraq-twice. Daily’s surfed through it all.
What’s next for Dale? He’s hoping to get on the road and hit every surf spot in the U.S. Quite an undertaking, but with Dale’s fortitude and determination it’s almost a certainty.
Look to the June issue of SURFER for an in depth look at the trials and tribulations of surfing for 10,407 consecutive days. – Jake Howard