I have been guilty of this especially of late... some evil thoughts have been distracting me to shutdown StokeMaster.com**, stop writing WavLOG, and thinking that surf a few times a year in Hawaii or CR would be OK...
So this article is directed at me as a reminder, but hope you can also can relate to it too.
As people get "better at" surfing, I have seen them setting higher and higher expectations about the quality of the wave and such, and in some cases, their expectations get so high, they almost stop surfing altogether in search of the best condition or location that never come.
This morning after I got out of the water I had a bit of conversation about this with a local long-time surfer. He has been surfing for more than 40-years from OB to Ventura. We were at the same spot yesterday too. In fact, he is usually out when I am out too because he knows the best bet locally. He is so experienced that he can basically catch any types of wave - big, small, crappy... whatever, when, in front of him, I am still a struggling beginner surfer.
One important reminder that came up in our conversation is the word "life-style" and that is where we both agree strongly about surfing. I was then thinking more about that and I too have made a lifestyle decision to be a surfer and also this needs a constant reminder to myself that I have done that. Now here is no turning back.
An example of the difference between this and other sport I'd participate in is like this. I don't bowl much, but I do every so often, but my life will not revolve around bowling. I just go when, say, a friend would want to go. I rent everything and once I am done with it, it's all forgotten. I can hit strike sometimes and I can also thrown the ball in the gutter. But it's still fun.
Surfing is a kind of sport that require a life-style change decision because the depth of the sport is a life-time learning event. We need to be committed to it and so that requires that the sport have to be woven into your everyday life. It would take years of practice to hit an equivalent of a strike, that would be riding a nicely trimmed surf line for 10-20 seconds straight... not going up or down... just across the face.
And the point about setting high expectation is this. It is not a kind of a thing that you just only go when the condition is the best, rent some gear, get out and then forget about it afterwards. So as a part of this, we are always compelled to "get out as often as we can."
Another case in point. This past weekend, I was talking to a non-surfer person at a party, and he spoke of his surfing friends in terms of "Once he started it, he was hooked to it."
But more accurately, he made a life-style decision to surf, and once someone would do that they really can enjoy wider variety of conditions like the old buddy I was talking to this morning. It really takes an active and often pains taking efforts in "being hooked." The force affecting addiction is more of an external nature. You could give someone addicted to alcohol an expensive wine and he would be capable of enjoying it. You could give me double-overhead perfect wave today, and I may not be able to enjoy it immediately. I need to take a rain check, give me the same wave two years from now for me to enjoy it. But let me remind you, I am working on it and I think I can get there.
So today, you could be at the edge of making this commitment to your life and that could tip your life fully in one side. I think I have.
And it always feels better when I get out even when I did not feel like it when I get out of the house... and yes I am grateful to everyone that I can make this choice and I will continue to share my stoke with the world via the net.
Session 8073: Same spot as yesterday. Quite a bit smaller but clean and still fun. Not much in terms of longer rides but worked a lot on taking off and continue to work on making the turn #1 towards the top of the wave. I am not still there and some waves just closed out quickly.
Session 8074: The condition at Linda Mar was fair, but then this was probably the only ticket in town. But here is the deal. There were a few good surfers, both on long and short boards, that were managing the condition. I caught a few waves, but it really goes to say, if you are good, you'd get the most out of it.
**However I am thinking about re-doing the StokeMaster.com site on Google App Engine.