Teddy bear's pit picnic. Image: From Ozzie Wright's up coming film project.
Why Life Is So God Damn Good Right Now
If you’re interested…
A milkshake of fear, froth and hysteria is the blend of all conversation at the moment.
Let's get off the feary-go-round for a moment and focus on the froth. While the average citizen is sitting at home letting the collective anxiety shutter their skeletons, there are surfers everywhere clocking up some of the best cone vision of their lives and having the best time ever.
Surfers are the ones that can distract and inspire us through this freaky time and if you're not already on the positivity program, I'm here to help. You’re probably thinking "But how? I need my negativity internal bullshit munching to distract myself from the existential pain”. Don't worry, I’m going to tell you how to think from now on. For free.
It’s time to turn all your problems into positives. We’re all going on a mental diet people.
Timing – Problem
Have you only just properly started earning doll hairs again after the Xmas silly season ruined you financially? Only to be further ruined by this giant global handbrake? Such a bad time of year for this to happen. But on the other hand…
Timing – Positive
If you’re in Australia, it’s the best time ever to have some time off and surf yourself silly.
Ever wondered why you open your front door the first day of Autumn every year to a stiff crispy offshore and surf that consistently pumps for three months straight? Me neither but I called me old mate, surf forecaster and weather nerd Ben Macartney from Coastalwatch to give this article some intellectual juice. This is what he said:
“Autumn is when we see the activation of the Southern Ocean storm track, while at the same time there’s the latent heat throughout the tropics and the mid-latitudes from summer and that facilitates late-season tropical activity this time of year.”
"Good lord!" I thought, "What the shit does any of that mean?" He went on:
"It’s the best of both worlds. You’ve got the still active tropical and polar swell windows and then at the same time, the cooling of the land means we start to see land breezes that have diurnal effects from the warm sea surface temperatures at night. The warm moist air rises and you get the land breeze the cool air coming off the land in the morning which is why we get your westerly winds on the East Coast of Australia. It's a great combination of slighter/favourable winds and really active swell windows.”
What Ben’s telling us here is that there’s non stop pumping surf right now so if there was ever a time to turn that backhand bog into a proper slice, this is it.
If you can russell up some cash, there's nothing better to invest in than your surf joy. Our pals at Onboard Store are still banging out the speediest of home deliveries surf joys stocks are a booming right now. Maybe turn that thruster into a quad by mixing up your fins? Maybe you're knifing some slabs? You also might want something for those days down at kiddies corner with the grom when you spy some speedy runners down the beach for yourself? Or you might even want a new Ferrari for when it's three foot and perfect?
Money – Problem
Has all this extra time to surf come with the disadvantage of a loss of a job or a significant chunk of income? A very problematic and stressful area in most people's life. Or is it?
Money – Positive
Have you properly considered all the money you’ll save during this unprecedented lockdown? No more mincing around at cafes during the day now that they’re illegal. No more merrily poisoning yourself at pubs at night. No more sharing expensive 3:00 am Uber rides home with a stranger that results in an unwanted pregnancy. Price cuts galore! They say that last one alone could save you up to a million dollars over your lifetime (and when I say they, I’m talking specifically about parents that regret making babies with a stranger because they were drunk).
We could actually all end up saving more money than you previously earning during this period. Most importantly, surfing’s almost completely free. Buy a board from the tip and surf in the nude and you’ll be experiencing all the joy in the world for no more than a cheeky 50 and a 50 is nothing now that the government is making it rain in stimulus packages.
Problem – Health
Are you freaking about your health like you've never freaked before? It makes sense to freak a little, human life is awfully fragile and now all of a sudden there’s a brand new illness thing that can kill us dead that's just popped up out of nowhere. Sure seems horrible. But what if it’s not?
Health – Positive
Our work-life was killing us anyway. Everything from swinging a shovel to sitting at a desk is killing us loudly. The data is in, sitting is equivalent to smoking and swinging a shovel is equivalent to swinging a shovel. All work is a slow suicide and that’s just the physical side of it.
What about the stress? We’re all stressed out of our minds and I can prove it with stats like this one: More people die at 9:00am Monday mornings than any other time. And while that's probably not even the slightest bit true, because I just made it up, the fact that it seems like it could be true is evidence enough for me.
If you’re out of work and you’re surfing more, you are actually healthier as a result of all this madness. The vitamin D, the exercise, the relaxation, the list is endless. You’ll be so much healthier you might even extend your life long enough to experience another recession and if you do, you'll be able to surf your brains out once again.
Isolation – Problem
If you’re still hanging out in close proximity with other people you’re basically Hitler and will be given the appropriate death stares for partaking in this newly outlawed behaviour. Interpersonal relationships do seem critical to fulfilment as a human, so this one will be tough to give up. Or will it?
Isolation – Positive
People suck and all they ever do is hold you back. Ever wondered why you’ve never discovered your own secret spot? It’s because you don’t mind the company of other people. You’ll sit around tolerating them instead of letting them drive you so mad you’re forced into discovering new places.
I’m convinced that everyone that’s ever discovered secret spot is an intolerant mother father whose exploration was fuelled by the desire to get away from what are actually only very mildly annoying people. These original self isolators took their hatred of others and turned it into endless tubes and it's time for you to do the same.
It’s still legal to surf in most places in Australia at the moment but don’t ruin this by spluttering all over the already crowded setups up and down the coast. This is your time to discover your own secret spot. Really meditate on just how insufferable most people are and start ripping the wheel sideways onto some unknown dirt roads. Do it for yourself but also do it for the collective health of all the annoying people out there.