I've heard some people complain that the waves this summer weren't as good as usual. I haven't been in Oregon long so I can't speak from long term experience, but I do know is that I had a lot more fun surfing this summer than the last couple. There certainly weren't big swells, but there were some great sandbars for some super fun longboard waves. It seemed to me that there were a lot less closeouts. And it was a great summer for teaching and learning.
I went out a couple weekends ago with some friends, most of whom are pretty new to surfing. Some of my favorite times surfing are when it's good enough and big enough to have fun myself for a while before taking the time to try to share some of my knowledge and experience.
That weekend, one of the other friends I was with is a great teacher and he took that responsibility while I waded in the water and snapped a few photos of the fun they were all having. It was great to capture those moments for them. The whole weekend was so fun and it was awesome to share it with people relatively new to the ocean.
Now, summer's not quite over yet but I have seen some leaves starting to change and the days are certainly getting shorter. It's almost time for bigger swells to start hitting those good sandbars. Bigger waves are no reason to stop teaching. Or, if you're learning yourself, it's not a reason to wait until next summer to get back out there. Of course you have to use common sense and know your limits, but if you pick the right days and the right sheltered spots, you can have fun and gain experience during all of the seasons. It's pretty hard to actually learn and become proficient if you only surf for a few months of the year.