My wife thinks I have way too many surfboards. I refuse to count them with the rational thought if you don’t know how many you have you never have to answer the question. And the funny part is, that right now as I write this, I’ve ordered 2 new boards from Pat Rawson, one standup and one shortboard, and there’s another retro fish I keep thinking about.
On the surface it seems ridiculous. Even I think it’s ridiculous when I sit back and look at it.
But, what folks don’t understand is that I’m not buying surfboards. Well, physically I am, but mentally, no.
Sometimes I’m buying the experience and growth that comes from a new shape. I’ll feel that some new shape will guide me to the next step in the learning process. Or, maybe I see someone draw a line on a video and I want to understand that feeling.
In surfing there are three components to the art. There’s the wave, there’s the board, then there’s you.
Other times, I’m stagnant. The passion, which is usually on tap, is running low. And that surfboard might be a purchase to rekindle the stoke, to push me to get up at 4:45 for the next few weeks to train. This is a trick I use for work too. Buying computers or gadgets when I’m unmotivated. Sometimes the computer will inspire you, and other times the guilt of the purchase will force you to sit down and get busy.
And while maybe I’m buying the growth or motivation, or just need a surfboard, when I look around my house now and see boards I’ve owned for a decade and others I’ve owned for months, I don’t see the learning process or remember the motivation. I feel the moments I’ve shared with that fiberglass.
The Channel Islands Whip 2 that I got back-to-back drainers on during a freak North swell 6 years ago. I can still vividly remember losing contact on the drop and thinking I was going to be destroyed but making it and pulling straight into the pit, and coming out right in front of a friend. The huge Avanti Starboard that my whole family, all four of us, rode a wave on when our kids were 3 and 5 years old. The Fishcuit that G Love borrowed during his trip in 2008 when we became friends. The Hobie 7.6 that went undefeated last year in the national circuit. And my sons board that he’s used through his learning process.