It's about life - not "lifestyle"

Hardly anyone made one of these waves. There weren't many of them, and it was hard to line them up I suppose. A bodyboarder did pretty good. Nobody on a standup board tried it while I was there, and when I left the rising tide was taking it away.

Which brings up the thought about all the videos you see of the professional guys riding what seem like endless walls and barrels. I look at days like the one pictured above, and I sometimes wonder how many of those long, deep rides that "stink up" a lot of current videos are waves just like this one. Certainly bad endings seem to end up being edited out, giving the illusion of invincible riders. That's sort of a form of media deception. "Ride this board and you'll never fall off", when in fact you may only see the one wave out of ten the surfer made.

This used to piss me off, but I'm mellowing. There's no denying that the surfer made that one wave out of ten. There may be an unholy host of mitigating circumstances, not the least of which is peer pressure and the need to get photos to perform to the sponsorship contracts. Pressure or not, or even just some semi-suicial impulses - the surfer went for it and made it. All the money in the world can't help you once you take off on a wave.

An admission: I don't want to surf That Famous Tahitian Wave. I don't really care if I ever see it breaking. It doesn't scare me, because riding a wave like that doesn't captivate me. I have no interest. The famous photo of Hamilton does little for me, but I can't look at that one of Shane Dorian in swim fins pulling through the back while taking photos and not just shake my head in wonder. Nothing against those who lust after it, or the level of fame (or infamy) it may grant, but it doesn't look like fun to me. The consequences rule that out.

Yet the wave pictured above doesn't carry that level of seriousness. Yes, it finishes up really fast, almost to the point of being unmakeable. But I think of the one wave out of ten, and wonder why nobody on a standup board went for it this day, and I think I see the faint traces of the line which seperates the good from the great surfers.
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