You'd think that surfing off places like Australia and California would be a big improvement after spending countless hours perfecting your technique in the cold waters off Nova Scotia.
According to Logan Landry, you'd be wrong.
Landry has been competing in the World Surf League's Qualifying Series, the results of which determine who qualifies for the top-level Championship Tour, open to 34 men.
The Kentville-born 27-year-old said the events he's taken part in so far have left him appreciating Nova Scotia's "optimal" conditions.
"It's like really small and windy, whereas at home when we surf it's usually pretty good and nice conditions for surfing, so that part of it has been a little bit hard for me to adjust to.... If people knew actually the general conditions of everywhere else that you have to go, people would be so excited to just go home and surf because our waves when we have them are pretty good, you know?" he said.
One step down from 'big league'
Logan began surfing at age 11, first on vacation and eventually off the province's coast, at Lawrencetown Beach. He eventually started making money doing video and photo spreads for magazines and websites, highlighting Canada's "great waves and really cool locations."
He'd taken part in a few competitions before, but this was the first season he decided to take part in a big way.
"What I'm in right now is the step right before the big league," he said.
Logan said he's sitting at about 50th in North America and expects to climb a little the next time the league's points are tabulated. The talent level is so high that the most important trait is consistency, he said.
"You could have somebody that you've never heard of win the whole contest, and then turn around and the next weekend the exact same people ... lose that first heat," he said.
Newcomers should take classes
Logan said he never had a goal to reach the level he's at now. He just liked surfing and made friends while doing it.
"It just kind of happened, you know?" said Logan.
He said the surfing community in Nova Scotia has grown over the last 15 years. When he started, he'd rarely see anybody surfing, but now on good days there might be as many as 15 surfers in one spot.
Anybody who wants to try out surfing in the province should contact the East Coast Surf School, he said. It's run by Nico Manos, Nova Scotia's first professional surfer and a mentor to Logan.
He said it'll keep new surfers from getting frustrated and teach them proper safety.
'You climb up the ladder'
"The main thing with surfing is just putting in the time to figure out the ocean," he said. "It's not one of those sports that you can just pick up in a couple days. It takes a lot of time and a lot of repetition to figure it out."
Logan's next events are in California and Barbados. He said he definitely won't make the top 34 this year, but he'll keep trying.
"Because my ranking is growing now, I'll be able to get into those higher-seeded contests where the points exponentially grow.... You climb up the ladder."