The last few days have found us sauntering down to Snapper Rocks to watch the Quiksilver Pro. This is the first event of the 2012 ASP WCT (World Championship Tour) and features the best surfers in the world along with a large multinational crowd and media circus. There is no cost to attend and free stuff seems to pop up everywhere. Sitting atop the hill with Nug and watching the action go down led me to an epiphany…Surfing is the best sport and here are 6 extremely biased reasons why.
- Setting– Surfing involves soaking up sun and floating in the ocean. It directly utilizes the power of nature. Quite often I find myself in beautiful locales with blue skies, white sand beaches, palm trees and azure water.
- The uniform– Typically, it is done in a pair of boardshorts or a bikini (I despise cold water). It is comfortable to be half naked and it’s always agreeable to observe the fairer sex frolicking around in next to nothing whether in the water or on the beach. Let’s be honest…I love snowboarding too but I would much rather see Nug in her bikini than concealed in snowboarding gear.
- Travel– Surfing is one of the main reasons I started to travel. “It might be better if we drive a bit further,” is a phrase that I have uttered a thousand times. The chase helped me develop an appreciation of the world beyond my local bubble and frequently shoved me out of my comfort zone. Whether it is a drive one hour down the coast or hopping a plane to the other side of the world, surfing has expanded my horizons to be open to different places, cultures and people.
- It’s acceptable to pee yourself– Nowhere else (since I was 2) have I had the freedom to freely pee as I do when surfing. If the water is cold and I am in a wetsuit it’s even better! The pros certainly go for it in contests as well. What would happen if Tom Brady did that on the field?!
- Transcends boundaries – My dad is in his 6th decade of life and loves to surf. Even my wife enjoys it when the waves are small and the water is clear. On any given day people from 3 years old to 80 or more are enjoying the ocean and the sunshine. All over the world people enjoy the sport simultaneously on the “same field”. It offers a common bond that connects generations and cultures. No other sport builds bridges as successfully between such wide ranges of people.
- Accessibility of top professionals– Surfing is one of the few sports where I can regularly participate alongside the world’s best. Any kook has the chance to split a peak with Kelly Slater (I know from experience) and still have a great time. How much fun would it be if Kobe Bryant marched into my pickup basketball game and how pitiful would my crossover dribble look to him? At the contest the pros walk through the spectators to and from their heats and actually talk with fans and sign autographs along the way.