Motivation. This single word can be a surfer’s own personal Mount Everest, especially during winter months that not only offer intense cold that makes shivers feel like seizures, but also offers very little along the lines of surf. This winter was the worst that I can remember, and if you ask the crusty old surfers that shoot the shit in parking lots up and down California, it was the worst winter in the history of surfing. I don’t know if I buy that, but when thinking about the ratio of good days to terrible days, I become so disillusioned that I want to post up at the UCen and start yelling at people that the end is near, that we all did something wrong and are now doomed to surf ankle slappers for all of eternity. The world coming to that end would be worse then Armageddon by global warming, nuclear holocaust and zombie attack all rolled into one. And I don’t just throw those words around lightly, zombies are terrifying, but not as much as flat surf I’m quite sure.
So back on the topic of motivation: We’ve had none. With the wind blown, rainy daze that we have been experiencing and the flat frozen surf of winter quarter, it’s a good time to quit surfing for a more productive hobby. It’s easy to do, as surfing lately has become the equivalent of loitering in water. You just wait for sets that rarely come, until you get cold and then go in. If this keeps up for too much longer than we will likely start paddling out with a cup of coffee, a lit cigarette and the morning’s newspaper. Surfing will become another cornerstone of morning routine, an exercise in repetition that brings not joy and excitement, but stability.
It’s not so far-fetched, I see surfers all the time back home in San Diego who paddle out past the lineup and just sit around and talk. Maybe they are just looking to escape from their wives for a few hours, but have too much pride to put on the goofy attire that golfing requires. Whatever it is, there is something that motivates them to paddle out there to chat with their pals and not catch a single wave. In their minds, this is surely the best winter of all time, as they have had very few waves interrupting their conversations and plenty of bored souls to chat up. They have the proper motivation for these trying times, but I do not. I’m a 21-year-old child with a garage full of surfboards and an addictive personality; I need my waves. I believe that most surfers feel this way, and it’s not the kind of need where you can just wait patiently, but more of the kind of need where you would do terrible things if they would bring waves. Perhaps something like stealing the collection bucket from a Salvation Army worker or telling a room full of first graders that there is no Santa Claus. Lucky for the non-surfing population, doing these things would not bring waves, so we will just twiddle our thumbs and pace back and forth until the next swell.
The good thing, however, is that spring quarter is here and we will have more than plenty of distractions for the last stretch of the school year. The bad thing, however, is that spring quarter is here, and we probably won’t start thinking about surfing until fall rolls around. Whatever surf the spring may bring, we will surely have plenty of sunny days on the beach, and plenty of fun things to do. So until next fall and the next barrage of swell, we will have motivation for many things, such as volleyball and cold beers, but probably not for surfing. Its bittersweet, but as long as you are surfing for the joy of riding waves and not for chatting up old men, then it’s time to hang up your surfboard and put on your party hat.