Monday, 4 February 2013

dawnpatrol surfcheck

I've been out on my bike a lot recently, a combination of enforced dry dock, lack of time, lack of decent waves to get excited about, maybe if i'm honest a slight dimming of the desperation to get wet at any and every opportunity.
 In fact it's been kind of liberating to have something to do for fitness thats always available and not dependant on the lining up of several fickle things. It's been fun to find a new way of getting a little shot of adrenalin, learning some new skills. One of the things i've enjoyed most has been exploring the place that i live in a whole new way, seeing familiar places with new eyes and going to beautiful places that are within a couple of miles of my well worn ruts that i never knew existed.
Maybe it's a part of getting older but i feel i've found a kind of peace in my surfing lately. Dont get me wrong, i still love it, i still get butterlies of excitement when i wake on a day thats good and i know i'm going to get waves, but i dont feel like i have anything to prove anymore, to myself or anyone else. I know that it doesnt matter how many sessions i miss, i'll still be able to surf ok when i get in again.
I think i used to feel like i was somehow "getting away with it" with being able to surf to a decent level, being fit, being accepted in the local surfing community as having something to offer and that if i didn't keep pushing, pushing, pushing i'd somehow get found out as an expensively kitted pretender worthy of derision not respect. I think a lot of my happiness in my own self image was tied up in it and thats not the healthiest way to be. Maybe there's some buried childhood thing - i do remember a traumatic losing of a sack race at sports day somewhere along the line!
 I also think there is a kind of underlying macho bullshit in surfing associated with wave size, from the magazine's obsession with them right through to the casual downrating of wave size by many of the surf reports. I like small waves and i'm not ashamed to say it, for me they're more fun.
Forgive me if that all sounds a bit american and hippy (california is of course my spiritual home :-)) but i know what i'm talking about even if i've not managed to convey it. Suffice to say it's all good in trimworld.


@craivold said...

Great post this CP, sums up how I feel in a lot of respects with regard to surfing over the past 6 months or so. Especially the wave size thing and how I 'should' be feeling when it's 'pumping' overhead and clean. I know that most of the time in those conditions (especially mid-winter) I'm paddling around in a heavy wetsuit/gloves/boots/hood mainly trying to avoid hammerings and rarely getting any waves of note but alas the surf reports are saying it's perfect and I should be 'getting in there NOW!!' so I used to almost feel guilty about not making every effort to get wet on those days.

Now I simply don't feel guilty and only want to surf when it's fun for me and don't really care if that makes me someone who only goes out when it's small, only goes out when it's clean, a kook - whatever. I guess its the inconsistency of the conditions that does that to you.... I grew up playing football and if I didn't feel like playing I simply would say no (which to be fair wasn't often) when the door knock came with the obligatory 'You coming out?' but I guess on those occasions when the surf is described as 'good' by anyone (surf report/twitter etc..) you instantly think, "Shit... should I be on this" and that adds to the pressure of perhaps sending you out in waves you know you're not going to have the most fun in.

To thine own self be true....

See you in the surf at some point!

HD said...

True words Chris, and lovely to read. I hope as many readers appreciate the honesty of this post. I wish surfing was somehow a little bit more like this here too..

Anonymous said...

Surf hunger is a bit like libido in teenagers. All encompassing. Reflection is hopeless when these forces are in full flow.

pommie logger said...

right on...I only surf waves my size or smaller, and im no apologist for it. I head into the water to not think, and when it gets hectic (read crowds, or size) the ultimate aim of the endeavor is lost.

You were most likely being facetious, but your spiritual home isn't Cali, your home is where you are it sounds like to me, because its where you have found peace.

The surf community is a fickle thing, and to run ones own race is a bold and definable step towards adding to the culture, rather when being a part of it.

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