The Passion of the Ocean

Posted: April 22, 2010 in beach, For the love of the sport, Lifestyle, ocean, waves
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Surfing is as much about passion as it is about any one emotion. Certainly, there is the love of the sport which begins as respect for the mere physical act.  There is the adulation experienced when catching a nice wave and riding it successfully.  Often times there is the excited burst of energy that comes from being in the ocean, much like a feeling of contented bliss.  Of course there is the awe that the ocean inspires, which I wrote about in a previous blog titled Both Sides of the Gun.  Even though these are all real emotions associated with surfing, passion is what drives the surfer’s engine.  

What else would enable a surfer to commit to the art of surfing given the challenges associated with it?  In order to maintain the life of a surfer it is ever important that the passion be fueled.  I am not the first to chronicle the near religious devotion that many surfers acquire as they participate in the sport.  I propose that this devotion is due in part to the fact that surfers are plugged into a source greater than themselves, which is the ocean, but that is fodder for further exploration another time.  

The Fuel for the Fire

So what is a person supposed to do when they feel the fire inside of them begin to die?  Is it time to buy a pair of roller blades and a helmet made in China?  Maybe it is an opportune moment to take up knitting or to build bird houses?  That is it!  Hang up the Xcel wetsuit, trade in the 7s Superfish and stop looking at Localswell and Surfline all together.  Forget that Magicseaweed exists. Should you tell yourself that Al Merrick is a romance novelist and convince yourself that a wave is something the prom queen does to the people in her court? 

I do not think so my friend.  There are things a person can do to cultivate this passion.  One of them is what you are doing now, and that is to read about the sport.  It is equally important that you discuss surfing with other surfers.  It is important that fellow surfers help keep the passion alive for one another through the down times, the flat spells, injuries and the times where access to the ocean is just not happening. 

One of the last, and most productive things a surfer can do is to mind surf a wave.  When you are unable to get on the real deal, you can just sit back and imagine yourself dropping in.  Look for the sweet spot in the photograph and picture the line you would draw.  Are you hanging back and waiting for the barrel to overrun you or are you looking for a place to ride high? I suppose it does not matter much, as long as you fan that flickering flame before it sputters out completely.  



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