There isn’t much to speak of for waves this time of year, except for maybe a little south swell. Hawaiian 2 to 4 is a not-too-shabby 4 to 8 feet back home, but for those seeking double overhead tube rides, they aren’t holding their breath on the beach right about now.
My bro lives on the southwest part of the island, so we get a bit of that swell at our fave local beach, Barber’s Point. Today was a sloppy 1 to 2 with an occasional 3; sets came in about every 10 to 15 minutes. As a total wave snob, when I lived here, I might not have even bothered getting wet. But living in Brooklyn where the surf is … well, hardly surf, I figured I should take full advantage.
I surfed terribly. Partly because of the wind, partly because of the board, and partly because I live in Brooklyn … and it’s been a minute. I was either too far outside or too close inside, too late to get up or too early, too anxious for a wave or …
Wait, there was no or.
I was impatient and therefore wouldn’t sit still. I paddled toward more waves that I didn’t catch and watched the fellow I just left in my spot take off more times than not. It was obvious, I’d completely lost my wave zen.
I was missing the whole point. Surfing is meditation. You don’t actually get anywhere.
Even on a bad day, it’s still amazing.
It’s not like other sports where if you suck, it’s quite painful (often literally). Unless, of course, you’re way out of your league in the lineup. Then sucking could mean death. But, most of the time that’s not the case.
Today was definitely not a death day. I had no reason to be anxious at all. I was just hoping to rush the process a bit, which doesn’t really work with the almighty ocean.
The worse part was that I could see myself making all these poor decisions as I was doing them, but having little control/desire over stopping. Somehow I knew better.
About a half hour to 45-min in, I got it.
My method isn’t working.
Let’s try relaxing a bit. Taking in the scenery. Enjoying the moment.
I caught a wave.
Let’s try allowing the waves to come to me. Judging myself a little less. Having more fun.
I caught another.
I took one last ride all the way in and called it a day. The waves really weren’t all that good, I told myself. Never mind that others seemed to be doing just fine; more than fine actually.
Perhaps they weren’t conducting an inner battle. Their wave zen’s in tact.
Because they made it look easy. Like art. Like pure joy.
And that, my friend, is what it’s all about.
I leave you with this: What are you making more painful than it has to be? How can you course correct?