So many people have asked me over the past few years ‘Why do you surf?’, and ‘What is it that you like about it so much?’, so I thought I would write a few words that describe the way I feel about surfing.
For me, surfing started out like many other interests, you see someone else doing it one day, it looks like fun, so you think I fancy giving that a go! I started like many, on the big 9ft foamboards, down in Newquay, Cornwall one summer, where the crowds are thick, the waves are small and the potential for wiping out is high! 3 years later, I have travelled around the World and surfed over 50 different breaks and progressed from a 8’2 to a 6’4 board.
It is hard to sum up why I surf in a few words, but i’ll try. Surfing gives you a sense of liberation, of being one with nature: flowing with the waves, tearing along the face, carving, busting an air, trimming, hanging 5, cutting through the glassy water or whatever. It is an immersive sport: you are surrounded by the water, and if you are lucky a sunset, sunrise, a cool crew, a girlfriend (or someone who understand what you are feeling).
Surfing constantly challenges you, physically, mentally and spiritually. Physically you have to train hard to be able to handle the poundings, be fit enough to paddle and catch the waves, in colder water to know how to keep warm, in rough seas how to keep safe. Mentally: as you progress from a 2 ft summer wave in the UK, through to a 6-8ft drop into a raging pit in Fiji, you have to overcome your fears, push yourself beyond the comfort zone and believe in your ability to make it happen! Spiritually: when you get near the ocean, it is the whole experience that consumes you, the anticipation of arriving at the break, experiencing a new location, sharing that feeling with others. After a while you may find yourself daydreaming about surfing, and when you are not near the ocean, you crave the water, the waves, the feeling, so you compensate by watching DVD’s, reading magazines etc. It’s all part and parcel of becoming a ‘surfer’.
Right now, after having travelled for 4 months, surfing all over the World, my appetite is still not satisfied, I still want more and am just hanging out for a trip up to Runton asap, followed by our trip to Devon next month. It’s all about getting out there, putting the effort it, trying your best and getting stoked!
Although it sounds amazingly cliched, surfing is a way of life, and I hope one day I will live near the ocean, and be able to surf every day, before or after work, I don’t mind.
My only regret (if you can call it that) in life so far, is that I didn’t start surfing when I was 5 years old, but I guess I should feel lucky that I found it in my mi/late 20’s, by the time I am in my mid 30’s I will be stylin’!