To quote one of my favourite tees from The Ryde (sorry for the shameless plug boys and girls…. I just really dig their designs) I have a confession to make:
I surf small waves
And what’s more, I enjoy it – and I’m not afraid to afraid to admit it!
These days I think there’s far too much kudos attached to surfing big waves. Don’t get me wrong – I have muchos respect for the big wave chargers and the recent revolution of the tow-in boys. What they do is exceptional and I think they’re mad and genius in equal measure.
What I’m talking about is the everyday surfer. The people you see perusing the board racks or sat in the car behind you on the North Devon link.
Why is everyone so obsessed with outdoing each other?
I’ve heard enough talk of “you should’ve been here yesterday” or “I was out when it was 6 foot and offshore”. That kind of chat reeks of ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ syndrome…
Why can’t we all admit that we get stoked in smaller swell? I’d go as far as saying that I actually prefer a clean 2 foot wave than a slightly messy storm swell. Shock horror! I get more waves, I’m not fully shattered when I finally drag myself out and I have a lot of amusing banter with my mates on the easy paddle out and sharing waves.
Plus I get a lot more nose time and it’s a little less crowded.
From a photography point of view I prefer it too: I can shoot from the water easily without getting pummelled every 10 seconds or dodging stray boards.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy paddling out in bigger swells and love the rush of steaming down a nice steep face. But I get the same amount of enjoyment (albeit in a different way) from the smaller stuff.
Maybe it’s because I’m a longboarder, or maybe it’s the fact I don’t dream of becoming a pro surfer, all I know for sure is I surf small waves and it gets me stoked.
And surely that’s what surfing is all about?
I just wish more people would admit it!
So next time you load up the webcams and it’s 1-2 foot, say “sod it”; get out there and charge it like it’s 6 foot at Pipeline. You’ll come out with a big grin on your face, no doubt about it.
Take it easy.