The water is wet, the sky is blue and to quote the late, perhaps great, Bob Hoskins “It’s good to talk.”
It’s part of human nature to need conversational interaction, that’s a fact and to bring this fact into a relevant sphere, it’s good for surfers to talk. To each other. We are part of a, for want of a better word, tribe. Surfers all around the world are all looking for the same thing, we all want to ride waves and this unique and precious pastime should unite us all. My point is we all have this in common, a starting point for all conversations.
After an incredibly joyous and belt loosening festive Christmas period which has been blessed with perfect surfing conditions I have been surfing a lot. Sometimes with people I know but most of the time with people I don’t and I've set myself a little private challenge ; to talk to the most amount of people I can. For me this was no great feat as I have a talkative disposition, something my late uncle called a ‘Flip-top head’, imagine one of those Pez dispensers we had when we were kids and you would not be far off.
So why am I telling you this? It might sound obvious but those surfs (in which I embraced the flip-top headness) far outweighed the solitary or non conversational. What happened I realised was that by opening up and chatting to others, I was ‘humanising’ myself and those around me. I found that I was giving waves to people and they to me, there was ‘hooting’ and ‘calling in’, banter on the beach and all those things that make us part of the same ‘team’. Instead of seeing the other surfers as competition for MY waves, they where part of MY surf, seeing the smiles and stoke when they paddled back out after me calling them into a bomb was almost as good as me being on the wave.
To sum up and use that perhaps cliché and stock word, I found my ‘stoke’ was redlining, overflowing. If I could measure it, we would be looking at a nine out of ten for every session, regardless of wave size or manoeuvres completed. Laughter, eating it on the take off and plenty of failed John John cutbacks, and I've been having some of the best surfs of my life.
Who would have thunk it, all this time Bob was right. It is good to talk.