“Sneed is learning how to surf”



Me not catching a wave. Photo by Matt Born, Wilmington StarNews


I’m starting to do more first-person experience features for the Wilmington StarNews. In a meeting last week, I was told by my editor that they want to make me something like the paper’s authority on outdoors activities and such. Should be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it. 

This was my latest feature, a little piece about surfing. I’ve been writing for the StarNews for over a year now, and these features are always a blast. My passion is definitely the in-depth stuff, the 3,000 and 4,000 word epics like I’ve been so fortunate to write lately about the Battleship (for Our State) and Ivan Castro (for SI.com). But writing concisely, giving readers an experience in as few words as possible, is a valuable skill. These pieces for the StarNews, which usually run around 450-500 words, enable me to practice that. They have definitely made me a better writer.

I have great editors there, too. I’ve learned a lot, writing for them, and am ever grateful for the opportunities they’ve given me.

Anyway, on with the story. An excerpt, followed by a link to the main thing:

I love what surfing is, though. Thinking about it rocks my mind the way those Masonboro waves rocked my body. It’s man and sea, working, ever so briefly, as one. You’ll never conquer the ocean, but spend enough time with her, and you may entice her to cooperate. You learn from each other, and what happens next is beautiful.

Meanwhile, though, be ready to fall. A lot.

Read the whole story here.