Ask A Local

I would do absolutely anything to learn how to surf. I would leave school and commit myself to someone every day of the next 10 years of my life if they would teach me. I don't want to go to surf school or something touristy like that, so what's the solution? Please help me--I'm desperate to throw myself into the sport. --Vanessa Matos, Boston, MA

I don't think there's any reason to be overly extreme, or desperate, here. Just go start. It's how most people sitting in the lineup--paddling, catching waves, and yes, surfing--got there. Sure, it helps to have some sort of guide, mentor, Jedi master, or whatever, but if you want to surf as badly as you say you do, Vanessa, it's as simple as going to a shop (one that sells or rents surfboards), procuring a board (explain your situation to the staff), driving to the beach (preferably one that abuts an ocean), getting in the water (make sure the waves aren't too big, steep, or hollow), and figuring it out.

Is there a practical pair of night-vision goggles out there so I can surf after work with no crowds? --Jon Miller, Long Beach, NY

To answer your question, Jon, I contacted American Technologies Network Corporation, the self-proclaimed "most trusted brand in night vision." While they didn't have a pair of goggles specifically designed for after-dark sessions in Long Beach, account manager Steve Lemenov did recommend the NVM-14, which according to him, are both waterproof and are designed to stay on your head during vigorous activity. Following our chat, though, I checked them out online and came to two conclusions: 1. They only cover one eye and 2. They'd definitely fall off, in which case you'd be out $1,995.
So, unless you're a one-eyed dude with two grand to burn, the answer is no. The upshot: You've just identified an unfulfilled need in the market.

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