The Ocean as Equalizer

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The ocean is one of natures greatest gifts.  When calm, the ocean represents serenity and peace.  When angry, the sea commands respect and reminds us of its power.  Surfers learn very early in their indoctrination into the sport to respect the ocean.  Entering the ocean is in effect putting oneself at its mercy.  As surfers try to channel and harness the power of the ocean, they quickly learn that it is a force to be respected.

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The ocean does not discriminate. It treats all who enter it as equals.  This is why surfers have such a brother and sisterhood.  There is a kindred spirit among those who enter the sea.  Surfers all know the feeling of sitting on their boards out in the lineup waiting for waves.  This feeling of being one with nature pleases ones soul.  Sitting on a surfboard in the ocean is a great place to reflect on ones place in the world.  It is an amazingly mindful experience and humbling at the same time.

The sport of surfing is universal.  It attracts people from all over the world in search of waves.  The ocean does not discriminate based on who you are, what you believe or where you come from.  As a result those who enter the ocean to ride its waves leave those biases on the beach as well.  Job titles, social class, religion don't matter when in the water.  It is the pursuit of waves and harnessing the power of the ocean that brings people together in a unique way.

Surfers learn that they cannot control the ocean.  To take it a step further surfers don't actually catch waves, the waves catch surfers.  The key is to put oneself in the right position at the right time to be caught by the wave.  The sport of surfing get misrepresented through advertising and photography.  Surfing is actually 80% paddling, 15% sitting and waiting for waves and 5% actually riding waves.  The issue is that our media world only captures photos of people actually riding waves not all the hard work and patience that makes up the majority of the sport.

Surfing is one of the best ways to connect with nature and it is a sport that is accessible to many people.  Those that try it get easily hooked on surfing.  There are so many metaphors for life, love and work embedded in the sport.  The world would be a better place if even more people learned to surf and through that act learned respect for the ocean and for other human beings.