I know what you’re probably thinking and I’m sure to many it does in that regard, but that’s not what I’m really going to be talking about in this blog.
The truth of the matter however is that for many size is important. There is big business, big houses, big bank accounts and on and on but it seems to be even more important when it comes to sports.
There is the big win, the big airs, big bombs in football and baseball and surfing has it’s big waves and the people who chase them.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those things especially big waves but I think we often get hung up in all of the hype surrounding the whole “big” issue and we often lose site of the difference between fun and taking on a big challenge.
I love when a big swell arrives and despite always feeling a bit anxious prior to paddling out I generally perform pretty well in those conditions and have fun. But if given the choice, I often find myself having a great deal more fun and catching more waves on those days where it is chest high and glassy.
On some really big days, what with all the effort needed to simply get outside, get in position and make a wave, a good session may only yield a hand full of rides coupled with a similar amount of wicked wipe-outs.
On many smaller, especially clean, days I am often able to catch dozens of waves and do a lot more with them and come home with an even bigger smile on my face. In short (not an intended pun) I think it has more to do with the fun factor. So if big makes it more fun than so be but if not then don’t get hung up on it.
Certainly there is a good camaraderie to be had on the big days but it’s no less so on smaller days when all your buddies are out and everyone is catching their share of good rides. I’ve seen on some of the big days where people paddle out and are way over their heads and end up paddling in feeling dejected. The same person however may do well on in a smaller swell and feel great about themselves. Again, isn’t more about having fun?
I taught snowboarding for years and have tried big air’s and rails but in the end enjoyed simply carving the slopes a lot more. In truth, I only pushed myself to do the jumps and airs because I didn’t want to seem lame to the younger riders who I thought looked up to me as an example as I was the head instructor.
One day, in a discussion with one of them I admitted so and he told me, “Don’t worry about doing those things. we respect you for who and what you are and how you’ve helped us so just go out and be the best trail rider you can be”. His advice was good and after that I simply went out and tried to do just that.
There was a time that I had a subscription to Snowboarder magazine and for a while I really enjoyed it. But over time all they covered was big air and pipe and off-piste riding. I’m sure that every kid who read that magazine came away feeling that if they didn’t do those things that they were lame.
This is probably why many riders who I taught their first lesson to went out later in the day and headed straight to the pipe and park, despite my telling them not to, and ended up crashing and burning.
The photo of me with this post was one taken by Eddie Pitts during one of the Wounded “Surf” Warriors events put on by Paul West and the Florida Surfing Association that I volunteered for. As you can see, it wasn’t a big day but the waves were fun and the best part was being able to share them with really great people. As such I came away from it with a big smile and a ton of good memories.
After all isn’t that what it’s all about.
Thanks again for checking in, have a great week and PRAY FOR PEACE.