Friday, June 1, 2012

Thin the Quiver, Simplify your life

Recently I decided it was time to clean the old blackened wax off all the boards in my quiver.  I'm not the best when it comes to keeping on top that job. I'm no where near as conscientious as one of my best friends. He strips the wax,  cleans his boards, and puts on a fresh coat in anticipation of every new swell. It's all part of his process I guess. All part of building anticipation and getting stoked for what might be coming.  I've been a bit remiss. I never really know exactly which board I'm going to feel like riding. I've got lots of options.

As I cleaned off my boards I realized that there were two I'd not ridden in quite a long time. I wondered why was I keeping them?  Sure they were great boards, barely used, but why was I holding on to them? After thinking for a while I made the was time to thin out my quiver, sell what I've not been riding.  Like lots of people I know letting go of stuff is not always an easy task.  I felt pretty happy and confident with my decision.

It didn't take but a few days to get a response to my Craigslist ad.  I gave the potential buyer directions to my house and contemplated just how much I was willing to take for the boards.  In a matter of seconds after I'd hung up the phone a bit of doubt and remorse began to sneak into my psyche.  Did I really want to part with these boards?  They were pretty mint and I did enjoy the few times I'd ridden them.  Session memories flashed through my head.  I'd had a particularly good session on one of the boards at Domes in Puerto Rico.  As all surfers can do, remembered one particular wave.  Same for the other board, it was an overhead day in Asbury Park at a spot with steep take offs and a killer barrel section. Memories brought doubts. What was I  going to do?  Maybe I'll keep them I thought.  Maybe the potential buyer will balk at my bottom line price and I surely didn't want to give the boards away   That didn't happen at all. The happy buyer barely made a counter offer and within minutes my boards were gone.  I watched as the truck left the boards stacked neatly inside. There I stood a bit forlorn, with a fist full of cash. Exactly enough to buy the Christinsen Osprey I'd  recently fondled,  I thought. Humm, I could just hop into the car, drive to the shop and pick it up. That was my initial impulse, but something came over me. Nah, I thought, wait. You don't really need another board.

In the days that have followed I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that I will just keep the cash.  No need for a new board now.  I have an ample quiver.  Picking a board for the next swell may, in fact, be a bit easier with two less to choose from.  I'll get more of chance to ride what I have, might even get them more dialed in.  I like that idea! Simplify my life, be grateful for what I have and enjoy it more.  Not a bad life lesson.  What's your quiver like? What are you holding on to that you really don't need?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why do we keep doing it?

Had an interesting conversation while surfing the other day.
A guy I haven't seen in years paddled over to me and recognized
me. Like me, he has been surfing a long long time. In fact, when
he asked me how long I've been surfing, for the first time ever I
said 50 years. Oh my God 50 years! There is absolutely nothing
else in my life I can say I've been doing 50 years and still feel
stoked to do.

What is it about surfing that keeps us so obsessed? My friend and
I tried to exchange theories. Perhaps it's the absolute "in the moment"
nature of riding a wave. No past, no future, no thoughts about chores,
no anxieties about the future, no regrets about the past. It's totally
about surfing that wave at that moment. Maybe it's the beauty we
get to see sitting in the ocean, tuned in to nature and the cycles of the planet?
Perhaps it's the peace we get from surfing. How often have you felt
lousy or been in a foul mood than gone for a surf and come out feeling better?
Mind, body, spirit, all ties together.

To non surfers it must look pretty repetitive. Ride a wave, paddle back,
catch a wave and repeat over and over again. Yet even non surfers seem
to love watching.

A perfectly lined up set wave approached and our conversation ended.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cycles and Lessons

It might seem odd to state the obvious, life goes on. Each day
the sun comes up, the tide changes, and the sun goes down. We
all know that we'll have periods of surf and flat spells, good offshore
winds and winds that aren't cooperative. We'll surf small waves as
well as big waves. Unless you live in a tropical place the water
temperature will go up and down. That's just the way it is and will
always be.

What can we learn from the cycles of our lives as surfers? Are you open
to looking? Everything changes. Some changes are good, and some bad,
for nothing stays the same. We often go through our surf lives with the
support of the same people. How long have you surfed with the same
crew? How many waves have you shared? How many swells have
you experienced together? How many life events have you all experienced

As you begin 2012, another year, take a moment to appreciate the cycles.
Relish the friendships. Learn the lessons. A noted wise man once said that
there are 2 things we can use the past for; to learn lessons, and remember
the good things. Let that guide you as you surf the waves of another year.
Stay healthy, happy, and at peace.