I wanna be a lion

No –I want to be true. You ever have one of those days surfing when your feeling vibed by the crowd, by your style, by your board, the fins you chose, not enough wax, too much coffee, booties leakin cold water and yer toes hurt? Ever have a day surfing when things just ain’t coming together right in your mind? I have –they’ve been plentiful at times.

But then there are other days. Days when your focus is like a candle burning in your bedroom with the windows closed and no breeze -just a bright and focused light, moving but staying in place. Those are the days when you pop up and your feet land in the exact spot on your board where the heel dent gives you maximum grip. Those are the days when you paddle for a peak that no one else has seen yet, and as they notice your stroke it’s too late for them and your up, gliding down and arcing up for the high line only to drop in again with renewed speed. On those days you notice the way the seaweed sways in between the boulders on the inside. You notice how the tide has combed the beach and left its nutrient rich deposit at the high-tide line. You notice how the sun comes out from behind the trees to the east and if you hold your mitted hand just so, you can block the blinding rays enough to see the tops feathering on the incoming set.

Sometimes I wish that I could just go surfing everyday and not have to work. But then I would loose the solace and peace it gives me as I steal some time before work to surf. Waking up before first light and paddling out at sunrise is an experience that comes as close to church as anything in my life ever did. Being immersed in the chilled water and embraced by the north wind is shocking at first -ironically it brings a warm sense of relief in the end.

I don’t think about much else aside from surfing. And sometimes I’m chastised for it. Other times people tell me, “your so lucky you have something your so passionate about.” Sure I guess I’m lucky. But it is work, getting up early, making breakfast and paddling, duck diving, paddling, paddling, walking to the point over the cold as death rocks, paddling, and then you ride a wave. Sure it’s great and I’m lucky you’re right. But it’s so much more, so much more than just being lucky to be passionate. It’s satisfaction. It’s being in nature –no, being natural, using your muscles, your wit, your equilibrium, your heart. It’s being alive. You don’t have to be good at it. You just have to paddle.

Edit - I just noticed that Ku Yah! is two years old this week. Thanks for reading. Cheers and I'll be sure to have a beer in celebration tonight as I sway to the rhytims of the Bedouin Soundclash.

Foulweather is also two this month.


tres_arboles said...

Nice post, Ras. Personal writing but universal experiences we all share. So yah, we've had those shitty surfs, where the swell isn't great but the paddle-backs are a pain, where you wheel to catch the set and realize your one paddle out too far, or where you duckdive and one of your hands slips off the board and you bonk your nose.

But those other times, the ones like the candle you mention. That's the essence, when you're on and every rock in the jetty is smiling, and you can no-paddle the overhead peaks. The focus that comes with that is the height of mindfulness.

To me, work doesn't make surfing special. Surfing makes every thing else special. It's like my "special sauce." And I want to pour it on everything!

Mick said...

Great entry Ras. Best post I've read from anyone for a long time.

pushingtide said...

Damn nice words Ras. So true about it being work sometimes, but a really good kind of work. Dawn patrols make you miss some good bands too the night before but hopefully it is all worth it the next day.

What is radiodread?! Sounds good.

Patch said...

Great post, great band choice.

I'll tip a cerveza to ya. Here's to the dawnies!

Eric said...

that just made my morning.

Gazelle said...

Nice. Those days when your focus is like a candle burning are where it's at, and what we should strive for. So easy to be scattered in this this fragmented western society...

Anonymous said...

man did you hit the nail on the head with this post.