Why are we surfing? What drives us to wake up early in the morning on a cold winter day, put on our humid wetsuit (in the best-case scenario) and jump to the cold water? What makes us fly half way around the world to surf the perfect wave? Is it just a glimpse of happiness? A pure inner-body adrenaline shower? Where does the passion for surf come from?
For me surf is about the strong connection between a human being and the nature. Being able to read and understand the ocean; synchronizing with the water that is powerfully moving; dancing with the water, or running on the wave. Finishing in harmony, after the long journey that this water has travelled for this special moment.
Surf is pure magic, fun, gratefulness and a mastery feeling.
After more than three years of traveling around the world, discovering different countries and cultures and looking for some magical waves, I would like to share an observation:
Every country has its own face and a surf face.
is a country with warm hearted people, who are happy from the little they have, from the sun and the simple life. Surfing there was sweet & pleasant. Local surfers are telling to tourists: “Take the wave! You are here only for few days. I have these waves all year.”
EAST COAST AUSTRALIA
on the other hand, seems to be a country where the surf came more from the sport/competitive side. A lot of “pro surf”, a lot of short-boards: the smaller and thinner the better, a really radical vibe of surfing. You will not hear arguments in the water, no shouting but the locals will have their way to keep you quiet and ‘undisturbing’. They will run into the water, paddle fast, surf fanatic and if they can they will spray some water on you while doing a tail slide. You will not even have the chance to get a wave.
IN HAWAII – HONOLULU
the birth place of surf, it was interesting: the first week when you come to a spot you will get some local looks. Once you’ve proven your respect by not trying to catch every wave and give some priority to elderly locals, you will be welcomed and get smiles. There is enough for everyone.
We as ‘local’ surfers here in Portugal, should ask ourselves what kind of face we would like to give to the country. In which surf environment we would like to send our kids to surf?
LET’S KEEP THE WATER HAPPY AND PEACEFUL.
Let’s respect this sport, hobby, lifestyle! Let’s be mature, let’s not bully each other in the water. Because we want more to ourselves, because it’s OUR wave. These magical waves do not belong to nobody. Nature is free, for everyone and it should stay like this!
If the waves are our escape room from everyday life worries, the ocean is our temple. We as human beings can change and choose in what vibes we will spend our precious time. As in any other surrounding (work, family, friends), what we give is what we get. When we give a smile – we will see a smile in return. If we give a compliment – we will get one in return. We can create a network between us, the surfers, that could help develop our skills. Instead of heavy vibes, staring at each other and even worse fighting and shouting. Let’s keep the water happy and peaceful.
RED LINES AND LINE UP STORIES.
Of course, there is a red line. We should respect each other, give priority, not harm body and surfboard. We should mention if something wasn’t on point or dangerous, but we should communicate in a respectful way.
I’m not a saint. I wish I was. Sometimes I get too excited and paddle like I haven’t seen waves for years. Especially when the waves are just perfect and each one of them looks tastier then the other. I do want to catch many waves, but I’m aware of this and it’s the beginning of being a better surfer and friend in the water.
What makes it harder to control our excitement is the fact that surf is giving us endorphins (same hormones that are released during sex).
It is easy to get drawn to it and let this fire control us. What about trying to control this fire? To hold it in our hands without getting burnt, taking second before we paddle to the wave and really put the focus on this unique gift that you are going to get.
Take a few second after coming back to the line-up, look at the faces: who didn’t get any wave this session? We can try to give them priority in the next wave even if s/he doesn’t sit on the perfect spot like you. Let’s try to put this in our awareness next time that we are jumping into our blue paradise.
WE CAN MAKE THE WHEEL SPIN TO A DIFFERENT DIRECTION: SURF AS FUN, SHARING, LOVE & LAUGHTER.
Just to finish with some fun and easiness:
In the beginning of the surf in South Africa all the surfers went to the same beach to catch the same wave, together! We don’t need to go back there, but it’s good inspiration .
I heard that Monte Clerigo is pumping, so I’ll stop here. See your smiles in the water.
Pictures by Giovanna Alfieri
Also posted on Aljezur.life.