In the lineup

If you read this blog, you may have realised that I am as interested in the social, people-y parts of surfing, just as much as I am with the ocean and waves bits of surfing. As such, lineups are right up my alley. I find them intriguing.

This isn't really surprising when you consider that the bulk of my surfing goes on in the busy breaks in and around Byron Bay. The surfbreaks there - especially my beloved point breaks - are crazy places, populated by any number of crew from beginners to professionals, from shortboarders to SUPs, women and men, young and old, and so it goes... Lineups like this make for intriguing spaces to watch and experience and negotiate and play in. I love them. I love watching how everyone occupies their own little space, how certain surfers think they're getting all the waves because they don't bother to look further down the line. I love to see how people deal with aggression, with getting hit on, with being patronised, with being hooted by a stranger. I like lineups that are crazy busy, because I love the dense humanity of it all. But I also love those quiet breaks of three or four folk who are sitting, not talking, just in their own space, but ultimately sharing waves. Connected via their own independence.

And the surfing. I love watching all the different ways and styles of catching waves, and learning from other surfers and enjoying their stoke.

I saw this photo today, over on Nathan Oldfield's blog,

Isn't it gorgeous! There is something about this perspective that really connects with the way I see surfing and lineups generally. There is something golden, quiet and north coast about this image, that makes me think of my home beach.

But mostly I think it captures the way that no matter how many people are in the water, we are always, always, always small. And that is something to always, always, always keep in mind.


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