Thursday 18 August 2016

Is Surfing like a Drug?

Ten years ago I packed up everything I knew of my Essex girl lifestyle and moved down to Cornwall to start a new life and start learning to surf.

Ten years later I’m still learning to surf. Some days I manage to catch a green-ish wave and spring to my feet and feel that euphoric moment and other days the sea just looks crazy scary and the last thing I want to do is go in the sea and chance a near drowning experiences.

But to me surfing is a drug. A good drug, a bad drug an addictive drug all at once and once you’re hooked it never really lets you go. You could be having a terrible day at work with a slight pain behind the eye and wishing to retire home to your bed or just slob out in front of the television. As with a simple dose of paracetamol and getting back on with your jobs a dose of salt water can have the same effect. Suddenly the splash of cold salty water in your face and the frantic paddle out back to avoid a set smashing you to a pulp you soon forget all about your bad day. As the exercise takes hold you start releasing endorphins and suddenly that niggling headache and bad day are both miles away.

But not all drugs are good and medicated and prescribed. Some days you'll look at the surf knowing that it looks fantastic, knowing what your here to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it but for some reason like a bad batch of drugs you’re having a bad surf. Every wave you paddle for doesn't let you play and you get frustrated missing wave after wave. You make the drop on a wave but then mess something up and end up being thrown around under the water like a washing machine. It doesn't matter if you've been to that same spot over and over again sometimes things just go a little wrong and deal you the unexpected.

Surfing is addictive and no two waves are ever the same. I'm not in any way shape or form a recreational drug user but I do have an addictive personality and surfing is my addiction. Some days I have such an amazing time in the ocean, catching awesome waves, getting the buzz and thrill of each ride, complementing this with an epic sunset and I am buzzing. I'm on such a high and I love it and want it again and again immediately. It's all that I can think about, my days are often planned around the tides and the swell and when my next fix is going to come.
But then that euphoria and that hit where’s off. The next day comes, the next paddle out arrives but on this day the winds have changed the line-up is no longer clean, there is no sun warming your face and suddenly you are hitting a low with your surfing. You desperately crave that feeling you had previously experienced but for some reason today is not the day.

You keep dabbling, keep sampling different waves, in different places and at different times but never quite getting that same hit of that epic day where everything worked perfectly. You find yourself addicted and you keep going. Keep hoping to top that epic wave. Keep hoping to top that sunset surf. Keep hoping to catch that same speed, that same drop that same buzz. But even when you get it it's over in a second and your crazing it all over again and so the surfing drug continues to hold you. 
Being addicted to a sport is never a bad thing and keeping fit and healthy and working hard to achieve happiness is never a bad thing but when you rely on mother nature to provide that happiness she can give you a tough time getting there.

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