By Keri Algar
Surfing is life. You let go and go for it at the same time and if things are moving a little fast then all the better cos it doesn’t leave you time to think about it too much, you act on instinct. It’s the best way to score though sure, sometimes you get smashed but that’s like life too.
Yep, we love it. Speaking of Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, Nick Carroll once said: “He rolled the dice on surfing without any evidence it could eventuate to anything…with nothing else but his gut instinct to guide him. As surfers, at some point, we’ve all done that.”
‘Big’ Bill Pierce sums it up nicely when he described his first wave in 1969, the summer of love.
“You never forget your first wave. For me, I took off on this wave and all of a sudden I’m just looking…oh look at this! It reminded me of that old song, ‘surfing on top of the world’. I felt like I was on top of the world, just moving on the wave… oh, that was it right there.” After that Big Bill packed his bags for Hawaii and he never left.
Surf reporter, writer and biographer Tim Baker’s (2007) introduction to his book “High Surf” explains it another way:
“Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced ‘Chicks send me high’!) has helped pioneer the study of positive psychology for the past twenty years. His book Flow: the psychology of optimal experience describes something he calls the ‘flow state’, which he believes is the ideal condition for human happiness. The characteristics of the flow state are the complete involvement, focus and concentration, a feeling of ecstasy, inner clarity, a sense of serenity even as your skills are tested to their limits, obliviousness to the passing of time, and an appreciation of the activity for its own sake. That is, it doesn’t need to produce anything other than a sense of well-being. It’s a condition that will sound immediately familiar to any surfer.”