Stab Magazine | How I Learned To Stop Caring And Love The Performance Log

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How I Learned To Stop Caring And Love The Performance Log

“Do I look ridiculous as I wind up off the bottom on my 9’0, trying my damnedest to blow the fins out the back?  Absolutely. Do I care? Not one tiny bit.”

style // Feb 10, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Because of my deep, unabashed adoration of high performance longboards—perhaps the most hated of all actual surfboards—I was asked to throw a few snowballs back at Buckley’s Opinion piece.  

“No problem,” I told our Longboarder in Chief. “I’m on it!”

It’s important to come across as excited and engaged when dealing with your editor. Postpones the day they’ll eventually think, “Why, exactly, are we still paying this idiot?”

The problem is, there’s no real rebuttal. It’s true, all of it. High performance longboarding is compensating, cheating, etc. It’s slower and easier and boring to watch in all but the very best hands.

But isn’t that always the case?

Like sex, surfing feels great. But if you’ve ever sat through poorly lit footage of your own humping, truly… it’s shocking how shameful it looks.

Reality never approaches fantasy. It can’t. We live our lives in our heads, delusion and perception the only things making most days palatable.

Awkward wriggling and pumping, ass in the air, aiming for an open face, attempting to bury a rail while barely getting it wet—for all surfers, long and short, the only things that matter are sensation, imagination, and whatever personal lies you can swallow in order to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Do I look ridiculous as I wind up off the bottom on my 9’0, trying my damnedest to blow the fins out the back? Absolutely.  

Do I care? Not one tiny bit.

If you aren’t getting paid, your ability is irrelevant.

I’m a try-hard who’s given up. I want to feel like I’m ripping, but I’m no longer willing to earn it. I could hit the gym, drop the weight, head to yoga thrice weekly and coax my joints back toward flexibility, dust off a thruster that won’t sink up to my…  

But I won’t. Because it’d be all hard work and commitment, with no fun to be found.

I see your looks. I hear your grumbles. As I stroke through the lineup after grabbing a set out the back, I’m aware you’re angry, frustrated—that you snowballed that section intentionally.  

But I don’t care, I’m having fun. The time of my life, actually.

And I won’t ever go back.

It’s taken me a lifetime to realize, we’re all terrible. We watch our best and brightest push boundaries and imagine it can be us.

But it can’t be, won’t be. No matter how hard we try.

The average surfer’s session, worldwide, is awash in blown sections, stinkbug bottom turns, bogged cutbacks.

Floaters are awkward, airs are fly-aways.  

You don’t flow on your mini-Simmons, you can’t carve on your fish.


Hop hop hopping across fat sections, praying for a bit of wall that’ll help you generate speed. It’s pure masochism.

Empty bravado.

I rode a shortboard for most of my life because I was more interested in my surfing looking cool than feeling good. Countless sessions wasted in pursuit of the rare magic moments where muscle memory and blind luck would appear in tandem.

The day I stopped caring was one of the best of my life.

Those who can remain fit, continue to rip, well into middle age?  You’ve got my respect, and I love you dearly.  You’re a rare breed, and one I encourage the world to emulate.

I’ll stick with my log and when the wife asks, “How was your session?” I’ll tell her the truth.

“It was amazing. I did the best turn of my life.”


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