For The Sake Of Surfing
What have we learned?
Ed note: the following is the 23rd installment of our new weekly email chain called the Stab Fwd. If you’re into it, subscribe here.
There are so many reasons to love surfing.
And, as noted in a previous edition of the Fwd, literature intending to explore those reasons often makes me cringe.
You know what I’m talking about — those “life lessons I learned from surfing” lists you encounter from time to time. They typically accommodate profound concepts, such as You have to learn to accept uncertainty or You learn from your wipeouts or You have to paddle to catch the wave. Deep and meaningful.
If attempting to slide across the ocean on a piece of foam is exactly what it took to make you realize that some things are beyond our control or that we can learn from our misfires then I’m not sure how you could have made it far enough in life to be afforded the luxury of surfing to begin with. Like, that’s what it took? Really? Nothing else resonated?
But I feel like those things often come from people who like the idea of surfing more than the act itself. And it bugs me to see such clichés feasted upon when the reality is that surfing can teach you many things.
It taught me how weather works. And what it feels like to have your skin ripped apart by Sumatran reef. And that taxi drivers pledge allegiance to brothels in many parts of the world. And that you can hold your breath for longer than you think. And that there’s a certain wave, somewhere far north of San Francisco. And that Galician octopus tastes better, or maybe that was just the wine. And so on.
Most of those things don’t have much to do with surfing, but I wouldn’t have learned them without relentlessly pursuing it. That might be one of the coolest things about this whole dance.
The byproducts, the tangents, all the things you learn simply by surfing for surfing’s sake.
Spoiler alert: We have no idea. I’ll tip the cap to the crew who came in to help him, but you can attribute it to a deity if that’s your thing. Also, is it just me or would it feel remiss to overlook the fact that the shark literally has a wonderful taste in surfboards. No wonder this was our most-clicked story of the week.
Do you remember when it was fun to make fun of the contest in Brazil? I do. It was last year, as well as the year before that, and the one before that, and so on. 2011 was my favorite year to make fun of because it sparked controversy involving a floater and a springsuit. Anyway, it’s 2020 now and the world doesn’t exist so it’s a good time to reflect on the fact that you never actually disliked the comp in Brazil and realize that one day you would like to visit and fall in love with a stranger. Until then, spend half an hour with this and invite Mick to your wedding later.
Watching talented children surf is often prescribed as a way to destroy one’s ego — a task that some folks spend months, if not years, meditating in the Himalaya (abode of snow) hoping to achieve. Watching pro-ish surfers whom you’ve never heard of is also quite efficient. Click in to transcend dualism/feel bad about yourself.
Stab’s inaugural Surf100 ran yesterday. Did you win the Mayhems? Can I have one?
It’s quite fun. And if you are lucky enough to be in a geographical and financial position to pull it off, I highly recommend. I see more and more of this — better versions of surf camps — coming in the future and that’s a good thing for all of us.
Also, I can’t move past this without saying that I was drawn to the surf forecast shown around the 1:20 mark. That it is definitely not right now. I just got out of the water. So many longboards. One fella had a GoPro in his mouth. Soulful.
Italo Ferreira is the frontrunner for the 2020 World Championship. Maybe it’s just the summertime heat and surf conditions (see above), but this edit made me want to go right. I’m goofy and I can’t see out of my right eye, which means that may be the highest compliment I have ever paid to another individual.
One last thing:
“Rumble At The Ranch” sounds like a great name for a film from a certain genre…
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