Surfing: Feeling the Stoke

Surfing is a sport that grips you, surfing is a lifestyle. Getting up at dawn to catch those sunrise waves takes dedication and love for the game.

Watching surfers has made me realize how mentally and physically challenging surfing is.

While photographing the O’Neil Ballito Pro 2019, an international surfing event, I had the opportunity to chat with some of the local surfers and I got an inside look at what it takes to be a surfer. My immediate thought was that if all that surfing teaches could be applied to how we live, our lives would be significantly changed for the better.

I discovered that surfing is about patience and determination, hanging  sometimes for hours in the cold sea to ride that wave isn’t easy. Surfing teaches respect for nature, for things we can’t fully see. The ocean is large, powerful, and is never still.

Surfing teaches the will to adjust to an ever-changing situation and to commit fully. There is no room for hesitation, once you do it’s likely that not only will you miss your wave, but you also might find yourself  in trouble, getting beaten down as some sort of punishment.

And above all, the lesson I would most like to apply to my own life, is that I discovered that surfing asks for passion for what you do and the self-belief needed to get it done. It’s passion that makes any morning spent in the ocean a success, whether waves were ridden or not, and it’s the dedication to get out there no matter the conditions or difficulty, that creates that feeling, of #stoked.

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