Tag Archives: stoke

Dedication, or more accurately…stoke.

Air temperature 43ºF. Water 56ºF. Wind 15mph with gusts to 20. Surf waist to chest high on them. Current running north to south. 8 and 11 years old, paddling next to the pier…..the tiny one following her friend like a little duck. This is what dedication looks like. Me? I stood on the beach shivering, with frozen, numb hands thrust in my fleece jacket, eyes on the girls; a sentinal. They paddled out into the ocean, boards running sideways to the current; Mia struggling to stay near the pier and finally allowing the current to take her away from her stronger friend to the breaking surf. She caught the first wave that came to her. I pumped my fist in the air so she could see that I was watching.

Remember this image the next time you worry about your child on the high slide, the monkey bars or licking a cake spoon with raw eggs in the batter. It’s all relative.

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When Mia came out of the water and walked to the warm car on wooden feet, another surfer was grabbing his board to get in the water. He saw Mia and said “Hey, how old are you?” and she replied with numb lips “I’m 8 years old”. The man said “I have a $350 wetsuit that I bought in California for my son. It’s really nice. I want you to have it. My son outgrew it. I have been waiting to give it to someone who really has the stoke. You surfing in this proves you do. It’s yours!”

And so it is with surfers. They are like this. They give freely to pass the joy…the stoke…on to those who understand.

It is a family of strangers.

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A big day for a little girl

Mia lives to surf these days. Its all she talks or thinks about it seems, and she is really getting good at it.

The waves in these pics were, on an adult, probably about thigh to waist high, but for her they were waist to neck high. Its all about perspective. When you are less than 4 feet and a Gidget (girl-midget), 3 foot waves are BIG.

Gidget and Goliath

It rears its mighty head,
a mammoth of the sea
And rises up before us
So wild, so fierce and free.

Fish stream across the glassy face
in harmony they flow
Aquariums of nature
A flash of silver glows

Water surges up and gathers
A steep wall with frothy crest
Eyes wide,  she turns and paddles
Strong willed to meet the test.

I smile,  she stands so quickly!
Glides down the smooth, strong wave
A tiny little surfer
So strong, so true and brave

See, it’s all about perspective
I see a wave so small
But it really is a giant
When you’re on only 4 feet tall

~ Jody

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