Thursday, March 12, 2009

Surf or Die

Surf ... or die.

Surfers have long suffered from the stigma and stereotypes propagated by cheesy, 60's surf movies, a butt-load of crappy music, and they were dragged into the 80's with Sean Penn's character of Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Surfing has always been a metaphor for moving through life with danger, fear, excitement, and a certain disregard of the Establishment ... surfing is deeper than that.

For those that haven't tried surfing ... it is freakin' hard and requires dedication, stamina, perseverance, practice, and athleticism. Anyone can be a poseur ... not everyone can surf. Surfers know that ... maybe that's where some of the stereotype comes from ... that certain air of detachment and a sense of "knowing."

One of our guides, Justin, learned to surf this winter in Costa Rica and Baja. He didn't have a reason to learn ... neither did he have a reason not to. So, he did it. He discovered how hard it was to learn and how nearly impossible surfing is to master. He learned. He surfed. He's loving it. He's a surfer. (he is a former mortgage broker).

Justin just arrived back into California ready to guide rafts and paddle kayaks. He's' living it ... the dream.

Whitewater rafting is for all ages!

Not all surfers pull on wetsuits and stand on slabs of fiberglass while slipping down the face of a wave. Surfing is more than that. It's a challenge, a feeling, and it's the personal exposure that you can only experience when you submit to Nature, Fate, and conditions beyond anyone's control.

You can get that by biking, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, exercising, painting, writing, speaking, climbing, dancing, hang-gliding, flying, diving, jumping, bouncing, motorcycling, kite-boarding, kayaking, playing music, singing, burning man ... and by white water rafting!

You must do these things: step into nature, submit to her power, and ride it out. Then, paddle, walk, run, ride, crawl out and drop in again. You're living it.

I'm 53 years old and when I pull my KLR motorcycle up onto the rear wheel and ride it out to redline, or revel in the benefit of gravity that slings me down a snow slope, or paddle a raft down American whitewater, or speak in front of 6,000 people ... I remember how I felt when I paddled my homemade 10' surfboard into the north Pacific without a wetsuit in March in 1967 ... I was living it ... I was 12.

Surf ...or die.
(and check out some good surf music: Dick Dale, Los Straightjackets and the Mermen)

Advil is a wonderful thing!

Note: thank you to for the old surfer image! And thanks to WET River Trips for the all ages rafting picture!

1 comment:

TFM said...

Very Nice!