The place I most love to be from May to October is on a beach in Maine, enjoying a five- to 10-second ride on my boogie board. I’ve been riding the waves since I was about 10, with a 12-year hiatus in the Southwest. It became a real passion about 30 years ago, when I returned to Maine and bought a thick blue foam board. Since then I’ve graduated to a thinner, longer, streamlined foam board – “The Matrix” – that I received as a retirement gift last year. My family knows me well!

I’ll admit it, the first trip of the season is challenging. After hunkering down all winter, it’s time not to seek warmth, but to get cool. After deciding that the conditions are right, I prepare for this and all subsequent trips by sitting on the sand and scanning the beach for wave action. When I have identified the area with the best waves, I march firmly down to the ocean with my board. There should be no hesitation entering the water, no matter how cold it is.

That said, I do have a few rules. The air should be at least 70 degrees, and the water at least 56. Boogie boarding is best a few hours before or (preferably) a few hours after low tide. Since I’m just 5 feet tall, the perfect wave for me is about my height, breaking long from the beach. A double wave is a real treat. These often occur after a hurricane or a storm out at sea.

My favorite beaches are Ocean Park in Old Orchard Beach for warmish water and nice waves, and Todd’s Point at Reid State Park in Georgetown for cool (OK, cold) water and great waves. In the summer I always have five boards in my car, including the original blue foam model, which is still going strong.

A few pointers: Quality (nice curl) is more in important than quantity (size) when it comes to waves. When first learning, get ahead of the foam and ride it in. Later, get in front of the crest and ride it. It’s best to avoid areas where there are surfers or skim boarders.

One day a woman walked by as I was deposited onto the beach at her feet. She said, “GOOD for YOU!” Hmm – maybe I’m getting a bit old for this? But no, there are other vintage folks out there. I met my match at Reid a few years ago: a woman about my height, maybe a tad younger, wearing a full wetsuit, having a wonderful time riding the waves. We compared notes, and agreed that it’s a great sport for anyone.

I just got back from the beach. It was awesome. The water was refreshing. The tide was perfect, and so were the waves. Sometimes I envision myself tottering down to the surf in my 80s and beyond. If you see me out there with the other kids, just know that I’m having the time of my life, and if you like, smile and say “GOOD for YOU!” I won’t mind.