It’s nice to see grommets these days who are hungry to surf better; kids like Liam Murray-Strout here.
These kids see coaching as a way to improve rather than as some sort of stigma as so many surfers do (I plan on touching on this sometime in the future but, really, why do surfers have such an issue with accepting advice on how to improve whereas it’s the norm in almost any other activity?), and they train hard to improve both their technique and fitness. They’re also hungry for it; days were when it seemed that the only British surfers with the support of a sponsor came straight out of Newquay and nowhere else, but now the field’s wide open and there is way less sponsorship money going about. I’m not talking about free stickers here, but kit like wetsuits, surfboards and travel allowances that will help them to perform at their best, year round. Less help and more competition for it means that grommets these days can’t rest on their laurels and a cool haircut, they have to act and train like young athletes. But why you may ask? Can’t they just be happy to go surfing and enjoy it for what it is? Well yeah, of course. I’m chronically un-competitive but if I was able to chuck an air, get the tail of my surfboard higher than my head, and ride out of it then I’d be smiling for days.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to surf well and working hard for that, because barrels are way better when you get spat out of them - even if nobody’s around to see it happen.