Robert Parker in Bali

Robert Parker in Bali
blog contributor Robert Parker Surfing Bali

Saturday, October 1, 2011


After 34 years I was just about to give up surfing. I really wasn't enjoying it. I live where the waves are marginal and infrequent. It gets cold in winter and I'm feeling old and tired. Compounding this hole I was in were back and shoulder injuries. . . . Really sad to think of leaving it all behind as I love the ocean as it's been a significant part of my life.

I recently took a trip up the east coast (of Oz). Not to surf but just a time of solace. Thank goodness I caught up with an old friend (old as in years, not length of acquaintance. Well to be fair he's only in his fifties!). He's loving surfing as much as ever. Being retired and having lots of warm water waves on hand helps! But he gave me a couple of words of wisdom:

1. Consider looking outside the box when choosing equipment.
2. Don't have too high expectations when you paddle out into the line-up. Even if it means getting no waves . . . just enjoy the moment in the ocean.

Well I've exercised those pointers and my surfing has been revived. I've bought the longest board I've ever owned. An 8' mal (see pic). And it's great. It paddles well and once I became accustomed to all the extra fibreglass it maneuvers well. Secondly, I truly am grateful for every opportunity I get to paddle out. It's weird — It kind of takes the pressure off of having to get waves. And guess what? They usually end up coming my way anyway. Sure I don't surf the heavier spots I might have years ago. But who really cares. The ocean is a wonderful gift and I feel blessed to be able to taste it's goodness.

Hopefully this renewed attitude will keep me going for a few more years!

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