Good reminder pulled from Irish big wave surfer, Al Mennie's, blog post about the ocean knowledge good surfers hold and the help that can offer to those not so adept in the big blue.
Such a fun, surprising little session last night with my step-son. As the sun went down and the sky lit up, the ocean got silky smooth and a perfect little A-frame formed just off our local beach. While it wasn't big, it was sweet with an easy roll-in and a gaping barrel on the inside. Plus, our hearts got an extra beat when a gang of stingrays flew in to feed on the crabs in the shallows. It was...uh...interesting, because they weren't small. And you know what follows stingrays, right?
Suicide. Addiction. Self-Injury. Depression.
Dirty words, every one of ‘em. But they describe the daily struggles and afflictions that affect tens of millions of Americans.
So, what does this have to do with surfing? Everything. Because members of our own tight-knit community suffer from these brutal battles every day and are crying out for help or are suffering under the stigma that blankets mental illness and addiction. In fact, too many surfer kids in several of our own beach communities have committed suicide and the war is on to save the rest. I know, because I’m involved in the fight on a first hand basis and am spurred on by the pain I still feel 32 years after losing my brother, Bill, to suicide. But there’s hope.
Absolutely classic footage of Batman, Mr. Ed, Gidget and more showing us all a thing or two. Check out this clip for the styles and trickery that set the stage for the likes of Buttons, Lopez, Carroll, Curren, Slater and even John John.
Little fella’s cute, eh? And to a great white, he’s darn tasty.
This harbor seal appeared on my local New Jersey beach, bellying out of the water while I was doing an impromptu clean-up with my kids. Figured picking up trash gave us some kind of good karma moment. But it did get me thinking…
It’s amazing the sights and attractions you don’t go to when they’re in your own backyard. Case in point, I live in NJ, love the ocean, dig wildlife and yet have never stepped foot in the Jenkinson’s Aquarium since it opened in 1991. I finally did so back in February and was super-bummed I hadn’t gone before. It was a great little place and one that every local surfer and fisherman should check out at least once.
We all remember our first.
How we lost our breath when we held her close. How she promised to show us things we never thought we’d see. How she was the most beautiful thing we’d set eyes on with her banged up nose, duct taped bottom, and yellowed skin. You didn’t care what your friends thought. Man, it was your first REAL board. You were on your way. You were in love.