I’m a Weekend Warrior and I wear the badge with pride. I’ll tell you why….
I think people have lost touch with their place in the world. Our ancestors were faced with the trials and challenges that nature threw at them on a daily basis. People worked outside and life was dangerous – they got attacked by wild animals, they fought wars, and they got in sail boats and got wiped out in wrecks all over the world. Even if they stayed at home, there was a good chance they would be killed by any number of diseases that are so easily treatable these days that we don’t even think about them.
Now we mostly live in cities and our lives are sanitized. Man controls Nature and when she pushes back it is thrust into the public conscience by the media, causing widespread panic – tsunamis, flu outbreaks, tornados in north London – the things that the human race has been dealing with quite successfully for the thousands of years before Sky News was invented.
What has this got to do with surfing? Well, I’ve got a theory. How does surfing make you feel? Exhilarated? Alive? Yes, because you are placing yourself back in Nature’s hands, facing your fears and doing something that gives you a sensorial channel straight back to your ancestor getting chased by a wolf in Surrey.
Locals may complain about weekend crowds, but remember that all us Warriors are just reacting to the unnatural state that modern man finds himself in. We may not be lucky enough to have grown up on the coast, or brave enough to uproot our lives and make a permanent move, but we have had a taste of the raw elation that surfing gives and it’s enough to keep us hooked, keep us burning down the A361 on a Friday night – filling up the campsites, B&Bs, and the esplanade parking spots!
Like the lion that paces the fence at the zoo, we are desperate to hang onto the tiny bit of our evolutionary past that makes us feel alive, even if that’s just clawing into a few windy Putsborough close-outs. You can’t blame us, we didn’t choose to evolve!
I often wonder if we are actually any happier than our ancestors. I work in an office; sit at a desk all day looking at a computer screen. My great great great grandfather was a fisherman in Cornwall. He went out in his boat every day, year after year. Well, that’s what he told his wife. When he had to leave the country in a hurry, it turned out that his boat was usually full of French plonk, tobacco and other contraband. He was a smuggler and a crook, but I bet he never sighed at the end of a long day and mourned the demise of his youthful dreams.
So this is a blog for every surfer. Job, wife, kids, long drive to the coast, all of the above – whatever it is that keeps you from surfing as much as you want to, keeps your style gangly and your gut wobbly. We can’t all be hot locals, but there is room in the tribe for all of us. Long live the Weekend Warrior!