Friday, 10 April 2015

Back on board.

For quite some time I have been a little bit disillusioned with surfing. I have mentioned this before and is part to do with the fact that I don't know how I fit in with it all, part because the world of surfing has changed beyond all comprehension, a lot to do with the fact that I live in a cold part of the world, and the fact that I am in my forties might be partly responsible too.  Okay, that las bit might be a lot to do with it.  But whatever the cause of my perceived despondency towards the very thing that has defined who I am and how I regard the world, for as long as I can remember, I have been very much at the sidelines of surfing, looking in at it.  Maybe a little too much.

However, this has all changed, and I am very happy about that.  This shift in thinking is down to a number of different factors, principally a prolonged period of should searching has yielded many of the answers that I have been looking for. I have also been on quite a journey of self discovery, in all aspects of my life, this too has enabled me to put some much needed perspective on things, including surfing.

Having identified that I still love surfing, its culture and the world that surrounds it, I set about determining the things that I really connect with and love being a part of.  At the beginning of the journey this focus was mainly upon the aspects of surfing that were associated with a different era, the time that I discovered the surfing life, and the preceding decades.  Too much of modern day surfing was far removed from the aspects of it that I know and love, or that is how I felt. Because I identified with elements of its past, I looked towards the historical world of surfing, and got a hole heap of inspiration from it too.

This was great fun, but not really fulfilling in the truest sense, simply because I wanted something that was happening now, in the current moment. I wanted surfing to provide me with real feelings, feelings more involved than those evoked by than nostalgia alone.  I guess that I have been somewhat guilty of living in the past in many aspects of my life, when what I needed was to be living in the moment.

It has taken a while, but this is where I am at.  I have reached a place where I want to be with surfing and am ready to begin the next phase of my surfing life.  I can take or leave much of modern mainstream surfing has to offer, much of it is very competitive, alpha male driven and just not that friendly.  This version of surfing put me off, too many big egos, not enough waves and the thing that made me truly sad was that no one seemed to appreciate the natural environment.  Added to which I felt that it was being led more by market forces than the simple notion of surfing as a beautiful pursuit.

Much to my delight, I found that there is a lot more happening in surfing than the afore mentioned. It is the stuff that is going on at the edges that I love, and there is plenty.  In fact there is a really strong scene that is still very much about surfing for the fun of it, sharing the experience with others, enjoy the wonders of nature and simply enjoying the vibe. These are the things that I truly connect with, these are the things that I want to pursue.

Having got back from California last week, where I got married to the love of my life and had an incredible amount of fun, I have returned with good amounts of that vibe (even more so than usual). This fresh intake of absolute and positive inspiration, just at the right time means that I have now reached a point where I am completely clear about how I want to live my life, this includes surfing.  So, having treated myself to some new rubber already this week, with a heap of boards in many shapes and styles in the shed, not to mention a totally fresh perspective on the world - especially the surfing world, I am ready to embark on the next phase of my surfing journey.

I have fully reconnected with surfing, at long last, and while it all feels different, this is wholly positive.  It has always been there, I just needed to find it again, or rather I needed to take some time out in order to discover different elements to it, the things that I had missed previously.