I'm still pretty green at this whole surfing thing, but my friend Nick and I decided to venture north across the border to seek out waves in Canadia a few weekends ago. We ended up on Vancouver Island along the beautifully wild coastline of Tofino. I snapped some shots of the journey (click the picture below to access gallery), but naturally I was having too much fun in the water to take any actual surfing pics—maybe next time.
I also snagged a copy of Coast Mountain Culture at the local surf shop and was particularly struck by this passage from Malcolm Johnson. The image of being battered by waves is one all surfers can relate to, but the words strike a metaphorical tune that can resonate with all of us.
Forcing your way through the sets is futile…Find a friendly current and let it carry you. Relax when the sets sweep over your body. Be as yielding as water is. Think too much and you’ll be wrenched backwards. Take your deep breaths, dive under the incoming waves and let the remnants of the river bear you outward. Newer surfers…would blindly charge out into the maelstrom, only to get batted back every time; the older ones, wiser through observation and experience, put themselves in the correct places and let the water do the work….The surf zone, where the sweet meets the salt, tells us this: Any challenge, any confrontation, can be met with fluid grace. Move as if you were a thin stream that had begun in the mountains weeks before….The only way through is to flow.
Keep paddling, my friends.
To give a little perspective of our beach locale, Nick snapped this iPhone photo from the top of a nearby mountain. Pretty stunning.