Stab Fwd: What's The Most Valuable Thing Surfing Has Taught You? - Stab Mag
182 Views

Stab Fwd: What’s The Most Valuable Thing Surfing Has Taught You?

Number one: how to remain calm in life’s most critical situations.

style // Jan 30, 2021
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I like to surf when the waves are big. 

Well, really, I like to surf at every given (or taken) opportunity. Big, windy, small, hollow… medium. Medium waves are fun. 

I’ve never been sure what to make of the “big wave surfer” label. Is anybody who surfs a big wave a big wave surfer? Do big waves need to be your focus in order to be considered a big wave surfer? Does it matter? 

No, probably not. 

But I do like bigger waves. It’s a different sensation. And even more than the sensation, it’s a much different mental and emotional experience.  

I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon over the years. 

It’s normal, at least for me, to feel nervous while surfing waves of consequences. Those nerves become amplified when it appears as though you might take one of those consequences on the head. Maybe it’s a sneaker set, or maybe you caught a wave and it put you in a bad spot. No matter the case, it doesn’t feel good to fear that a big wave is targeting you. However, something strange happens if that fear becomes realized. 

A sense of calm. 

It’s as if the monkey that’s been screaming at you — jacking your heart rate and shortening your breath — is overruled by a deeper, more elegant side of your brain that knows staying calm is what you need to do. 

Once you know this through experience, it naturally translates to other areas of life. 

Acceptance, I suppose. When something you’ve been worried about actualizes, you just have suck it up and deal with it as best you can. Surfing is for sure not the only activity that can teach you such a thing. 

But, for my money, it’s the most fun. 

Post-Career-Blues-Mental-Illness-Substance-Abuse-And-World-Tour-Surfing

Post-Career Blues: Mental Illness, Substance Abuse And World Tour Surfing 

As surf media train-wrecked its way into the digital world, surf journalism became a joke. I mean that literally — the term was often employed ironically, because everybody knew it just wasn’t happening. But this? This is good. It feels like Stab Premium is settling into its groove, proving that there are still stories with dimensions worth putting the effort into exploring. 

Stab-In-The-Dark-Taj-Burrow

Stab In The Dark with Taj Burrow, Episode 2 of 4

He’s back. And this time, he’s testing Testing Mayhem, Haydenshapes, Sharp Eye, Firewire, and Chemistry. As nice as it was to sit down, enjoy a beverage and watch SITD in the full, I’m digging this drip-feed format. Gives you something to look forward to every week — it’s the little things in life, yeah?

John-Florence-And-Carissa-Moore-Win

John Florence and Carissa Moore Win The 2020 Digital Vans Triple Crown

If the CT carried on, today would have been the last day of the Sunset Open waiting period. Unfortunately, as we all know, that wasn’t the case — which makes the Digital vans Triple Crown feel even more special. Click in for a 40 minute recap of this year’s strange but firing season on the North Shore. And, congrats Carissa and John. Well deserved.

SOTFY 

Tired of John John winning things? No, no, neither was anybody else. He was sidelined for a lot of 2020, but that didn’t seem to stop him. He launched a new brand, won his first Pipe Masters, won another Triple Crown and, now, ran away with SOTY. Can you imagine what’ll happen when we get a full year of him uninjured again?. 

The women’s side of SOTY was a closer race, but Steph Gilmore came away with it. Why? Because, well, in a year absent of competition, who is really going to take the crown from the Queen? 

Watch Tom Curren Surfing A Perfect Mexican Pointbreak

I don’t think there’s anything I can say that this title misses. You either want to watch Tom Curren surfing a perfect Mexican pointbreak or I’m not really sure why you’re here. 

One last thing: 

You ever have a board that you don’t ride for a while, then you pick back it up and feel really good on it, then have that good feeling slowly fade over the course of a few sessions and erode to the point where you question it entirely, start to despise it, tell yourself during a session that it’s the last time you’ll ride it, get one great wave on it, regain a little bit of hope, but still put it away and continue the cycle? 

I know you have.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022
Advertisement