Since becoming a father I’ve tortured myself with the question “am I still a surfer”?
For example: over the last few weeks the surf has been firing. My childless friends text me with updates like “9 surfs in 5 days, my arms are dropping off”. I have been in once.
After 3 years of mentally beating myself up, I’ve reached 2 conclusions:
1. When the surf is good, stop reading texts from childless friends
2. There are different types of surfer
In my opinion there are 4 types of surfer:
I don’t just mean the mad-men who fly across the world surfing monster waves. The hardcore surf at every opportunity and will sacrifice everything for surfing.
Jobs, homes, holidays and friends are all chosen on their ability to facilitate surfing. Jobs for the hardcore have flexible hours and are located near the beach, allowing maximum wave riding opportunity.
Home will be chosen for it’s proximity to the hardcore surfer’s favourite break. Holidays will be to the best surf spot according to budget and season.
Friends and partners will be those who surf, or can at least tolerate their companion’s saltwater addiction.
This is not a burger joint. A hungry surfer is ravenous for waves but due to other commitments can not satisfy their appetite.
The hungry surfer is not as committed as the hardcore type. They have chosen to prioritise, or at least share free time, with other aspects of their life. I am a hungry surfer.
My daughter is my priority. Instead of dawnies I feed, dress and deliver my daughter to nursery or Granny. Instead of surfing 3 times a day at the weekend, I grab a quick splash whilst my daughter builds sandcastles with Mummy.
Other hungry surfers have their own diversions, preventing them from committing to the hardcore surfer lifestyle.
The half-hearted surfer lacks commitment and considers surfing a hobby!
They only surf during summertime and even then only at the weekend. They have one board and one wetsuit, and it’s the same one they’ve had for years.
The half-hearted surfer enjoys surfing, but it’s low on the list of priorities. They probably live in a land-locked city, following the money over ‘the feeling’.
The hopeless surfer has only been surfing a handful of times in their life, but tells anyone who will listen that they’re a surfer.
They own a surfboard but it sits gathering dust in the corner of the room. More as a conversation piece than an actual board for riding waves.
Either that or they have all the gear and no idea. Following a single surf lesson whilst on holiday, they rushed out and maxed the credit card so they could ‘buy in’ to the surfing lifestyle.
Am I still a surfer?
Yes, I am still a surfer. Just a hungry surfer, who’s tummy rumbles for those hardcore pre-fatherhood days.