Why some surfers are amazing, while others are just good

Beautiful offshore waves and sunny days usually mean crowded line-ups.

It was a beautiful sunny day and there were some absolutely amazing waves, so I ended up surfing my favourite surf spot. Since it was an early morning, before coming to the beach, I expected an empty line-up and plenty of waves for myself. But I was wrong. There were already a lot of people in the water and more were coming. I really wanted to surf and beautiful waves were provoking me but I also realized that it would be hard to catch waves with so many people in the water, not to mention that half of them were much better surfers than me. But I decided to give it a try.

Half an hour passed and I didn’t catch any wave. The boys in the water were quite aggressive, paddling for every wave and comparing to them I was inferior. No matter how hard I paddled and tried to catch at least those smaller waves that usually no one wanted to catch, I didn’t manage to catch any wave. That day people were hungry for waves. Pretty disappointed in myself and the whole situation, I decided to sit out on the shoulder of the wave and waited someone to fall off, so luckily I could get some waves as well. But I was wrong. Most of the surfers in the water were amazing and rarely someone fell off.

After a while, a guy approached me and asked me if I had caught any wave. I told him with a smile that I didn’t. And mentioned that it was OK since definitely there were way too many good surfers in the water. He smiled back and said: “Please can you do me a favour? I will go back to the line-up and paddle with those aggressive guys for the waves. When I realize that it is my wave before taking off I will call on you and you take the wave. You will feel better after that one wave”. I was a bit shocked by his proposal and embarrassed but seeing that he smiled and didn’t seem that had any bad intentions, I also smiled back and said: “Thank you but I am really embarrassed to do that. I will just keep trying to catch something here or just paddle in. Anyway, I don’t think it will be so crowded later when the tide comes in.” However, he kept insisting: “No,no, please don’t be embarrassed. Just that one wave and I am sure you will feel better and the guys will realize that they are to aggressive.” I kept saying ‘no’ but he just paddled out to the line up refusing to listen to me saying that I didn’t want his help.

The guys kept fighting for the waves showing off their paddling skills and I was patiently waiting. At one moment, I saw the guy who talked to me paddling hard and I realized that it would be his wave. He almost took off but just before he took off he raised his hand and he called on me. I didn’t have any chance to escape this a bit embarrassing situation so I had to go for that wave. I took it and maybe that was not the best wave of my life, but he was right, I was happy and grateful. Coming back to the lineup, I was smiling at him and he was smiling as well. No words were needed.

He paddled in before me and I stayed in the water a bit longer. After surfing, I went back to the beach. I was talking with some people at the beach and told them about an interesting and great gesture of the guy and they told me that he was a famous pro surfer. I didn’t know that before but it didn’t make him special. What made him an amazing surfer was what he did in the water. Some people have not only great sports skills but amazing personal traits and that makes them extraordinary.


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