must we not pay a debt to pleasure too?

by Graham

Windsurfing is the perfect enjoyment– it is the precise alchemical blend of pain and pleasure.

Ah the pain! Do you remember learning to waterstart? Do you remember the agony of floating downwind, foot propped on the board, and neck craned up willfully wishing for the body to rise up out of the water pulled by some invisible string. Of course, after a million attempts, you made one— and that single waterstart filled your body with a deep, warming breath of euphoria. The happiness of succeeding and of using mind and body together to join with the elements, this is bliss.

And that bliss takes work. I’ve done a lot of sports competitively and windsurfing is one of the hardest to learn. One can paddle out a surfboard and just sit on it for an hour and then paddle in and say that they surfed. That’s most definitely not the case with Windsurfing. Windsurfing is like learning a language– the body has to learn to act instantly upon reading the wind and water. And this is a type of mastery, a mastery of the purest form of sailing, which is windsurfing. And this mastery satisfies something so deep and primal that it borders addiction.

Windsurfing also requires a full commitment. “Go all in,” that’s the motto of windsurfing. Whether it’s leaning over the board’s rail with a gybe or driving to the beach at the whisper of wind. It’s like the best love making– the self is completely immersed in the whole.

And after the first waterstart, it only gets better. Let’s skip jibing, planing, and freestyle and go straight to riding waves (my favorite aspect of this sport lifestyle). There is nothing better in life than riding a wave. Forget parties, forget sex, forget whatever other people do for fun. Riding a wave on a windsurfer is simply better than everything and anything else.

To ride a wave is to be in perfect harmony with the ocean, which is the most massive entity on earth. Everything human thing combined (cities, planes, bombs) is insignificant compared to the sea. And riding a wave is to be part of the sea. This is to react to actions before they happen. This is to move without conscious thought. This is perfect.

Windsurfing is the debt and pleasure too. I will take nothing less and could want nothing more.

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