UCSB is home to many a surfer: the young, the old, the new, the experienced, the lost, the familiar and the ancient — from the ripper at birth to the born inlander. Carrying with us our own perception and history in the sport, we each find varied satisfaction in the waves Santa Barbara has provided. The lack of swell has forced students, who once claimed to enjoy waves more than class, to spend more time up on the eighth floor of the Big Dave with less incentive to ditch studies for surf. Having less storm activity and weather variation in the area than usual, students used to better swell are itching to go home, while former inlanders still appreciate the coastal proximity. Whatever your inclination may be, there is purpose behind this surf search, and it is time for students to step up and look to aid future surf struggles.
Mankind uses and abuses resources and will continue to do so, as that is how society has been and will continue to evolve. It’s our nature to stock up on resources for survival, which brings frightening truths to our future and surfing as a sport. The environment is fighting back, giving us less satisfaction with the natural world, causing us to continue to allow man’s creation to supersede mankind. Without enough waves, wavehouses flourish. Without enough fresh food, chemicals are used to process and preserve. Without enough housing for people, buildings do not cease to be built — with all of our “help,” we continue to destroy.
How can we expect storms to build, lining up perfect swell, if we are polluting and abusing our atmosphere that guides these motions? We, the wave seekers, are preventing our own waves from reaching us. Do not blame your lack of stoke on the “surf,” the “ocean,” the “wind” — instead we must point the finger at ourselves and individually take up a part in postponing this disaster. Enjoy today and look to improve tomorrow — I say waves for the children.
We are inevitably becoming an exponentially less, rather than greater, sustainable people. We were born to survive, but we never will without admitting to our faults. We were born to search for surf, but will be hopeless until we change our ways of life. All of the hippie, save the earth slogans may seem like a fad, but these ideas aren’t dying and must be put to practice. We’re all in college to build a future, but you might need to look a bit farther — farther than your own self, to the life around you.
There is a lot of life. From the environment to people, life breathes loudly. If you get stuck getting through these last days of class, take a walk, check the surf, and realize the scope of the future you are building. If you can’t find surf here, take a drive up to Santa Ynez – you might be able to find a peak from there. If anything, take a deep breath from that high alt and realize that your future is affected by all that surrounds you — below and above.
And if you want waves, you better start thinking bigger than today. If you’re only worried about fulfilling your desire for surf now, you will be worried all your life. Don’t be too concerned about getting home, enjoy where you’re at today. Be grateful for where you live, paddle out anyway, enjoy a sunset in the water with your greatest friends, live life big and great, just think a little more. Just think. Think. Enjoy. And then think. But always enjoy.