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  • Earl Sullivan

We are not normal…



We are surfers, we are not normal. We never were. I remember the first time I realized this was in explaining an upcoming surf trip to a business associate. She was shocked and amazed that I would take 2 weeks off work, travel to the other side of the world, charter a boat, and go surfing… It was not normal for her. Nor would it be normal for me to take even a week off of work and sit around a pool or go for a ‘tour’, like most of the world takes their holidays.

Now let me make a quick distinction here, there are ‘people who surf’ and then there are Surfers. Surfers are the people who arrange their lives around the moods of nature, the seasons of the earth, the swell of the week, and the tides and winds of the day. A moment rarely passes when a surfer is not thinking of the ocean, or the next time they will plunge into it.


It’s the chase that drives us. We’ve tasted the goods and we want more. It’s an addiction, that’s for sure. They say ‘only a surfer knows the feeling’ and there is nothing more poignant than that. They will never know. ‘People who surf’ will get a small taste of the salt, the adrenaline, the feeling, but they will not get addicted. Those of us that are addicted find our moods swaying with the sessions we get to partake in, our daily planner is guided by our desire to surf the best of the day.


We are not normal. We chase risk. We take off deep. We enter a world where we are no longer the top of the food chain. We adapt to our surroundings making suits that allow us to enter water that does not want us there. We travel to find new places to experience the same feeling, and it is different, even from here to there. We brave new cultures, crossing borders and immersing ourselves in the unknown to find new surf destinations. We want it all to ourselves, but we don’t feel the same if we don’t share it. We are soulful beings anointing ourselves in the ocean, and we are selfish too, trying all too often to take more than our share.


We are not normal and we will not wait for the ‘new normal’ or even the ‘old normal’ to return before we start to travel again, chasing our dreams, chasing that next session, that next experience. Surfers are already arriving Bali from around the world, taking advantage of loopholes in the immigration system here in Indo.

We are not normal. See you in the lineup. I hope it's soon...



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