De Salas: “I bought this BZ Boogieboard at the Salvation Army for $3."
Name: Mark De Salas
From: Imperial Beach
Occupation: Fire watch department in shipyards
On December 17, at about 4:30 p.m. there was only one person by the Imperial Beach Pier capitalizing on the waves.
“I go in [to boogie board] for like 15 minutes,” Mark De Salas said, “I’m pretty small so my body temperature drops really fast then I come back out and I wait another 20 minutes to get my body temperature to go back up.”
He wasn’t wearing a wetsuit.
“I do exercises where I get on my back and do crunches, pushups and [you got to] stretch out before you go out there [because] your muscles will cramp because it’s super cold.”
“I bought this BZ Boogieboard at the Salvation Army for $3,” he laughed, “on small [1-2 foot] waves, like now, I just drift on them with my chest, but on bigger ones I can get on my knees and when I go really fast I can stand up.”
De Salas has been boogie boarding for over a year now and despite the (strong currents) warning signs posted in the sand this day, and the colder water temperatures, he said he loves to boogie board so much, that unless there’s a “red sign” restricting entrance into the waters; he’s game.
The day before he noticed a yellow sign by the spot where we interviewed. “This is just a warning telling you that there’s bacteria in there — it’s all on you.”
Because of his perseverance, De Salas has be able to catch some bigger waves in the same beach.
“I call it a rodeo,” he said, “it’s like riding a bull but it’s a wave.” he said.
“About four months ago it was a five-footer and it just shook me up big time. It’s hard to get out of when your spinning underneath and you don’t know what’s up and what’s down, [but then] you relax and you start noticing that you are going upwards.”