We’ve had some bleddy good surf down here lately. In fact this winter has been turning out better than even last year’s, whence I set upon my ‘surf every day’ challenge.
The last couple of days I’ve been surfing with my great mate Will Bennet, whilst his lovely missus Celine Collaud (of course also my great mate) kindly took some shots of us. Celine has an ability to capture the absolute apex of a turn; you make the turn in the water, replay how you think it looked in your head, wonder if Celine caught it and then learn later that of course she did, and exactly at the right moment. This profound understanding of sports probably comes from her being a European kitesurfing champion.
Anyway, we were having a fantastic time, catching waves, living for the swell and wondering what the next day will bring. And if it goes onshore naturally we don’t care since we fund our very existences on this earth through kitesurfing! Afterwards over an apres surf Skinner’s Surfing Lager talk sort of drifted towards money and careers and responsibility.
It would be fair to say that our little crew, like many others around the world, have put a lot of things on hold (or never even started them) so we could instead devote time and energy into surfing and kitesurfing for purely recreational purposes. I mean, it takes a fair bit of discipline to suit up and paddle out into chunky surf when the air temp is hovering around freezing point, or to live in a constant state of awareness of tides, winds and swell.
Would that focus be better diverted into keeping track of financial markets? Would that tenacity serve us better climbing hand over hand up a corporate ladder? I would never write off anyone who works hard in an office and can only make it to the sea once a month, and also I think people choose the lifestyle that suits them. But when do you start feathering the nest?
Surfing (when I say surfing I mean surfing, kitesurfing, bodysurfing, SUP, all of it) does keep you lean and mean and largely without injury. It creates deep bonds with friends as you share wild adventures and flirt with danger. Together you see some of the most beautiful scenery and are alive in the most intense weather systems. And best of all you get to feel those amazing waves under your feet…you don’t even need to replay them in your mind, you just feel a natural sense of well being.
It’s a great life we’ve chosen but you don’t get paid for playing. Sure someone could be sponsored but I’m not, never will be. Only a tiny percentile are so talented that a company would pay them a salary just to surf. So I’m asking you dear reader, what you reckon to all this? Is it time to cut back on the beach and scale up (make that start!) on the pension plan? Is it selfish to put so much value on chasing something that can really only benefit yourself? Is it naive to think that by seeking natural, healthy experiences you are somehow contributing to a better balance in the universe? I’d like to hear your thoughts, please sound off below.
Till next time, stay fly till you die!