I’ve watched this video about 8 times today. I shared it on facebook too, but apparently I am obsessed so here it is again:
I always talk about how surfing media is so inspiring to me, for climbing and in a more general, life and lifestyle sense – way moreso than most of the climbing stuff I read or see. I’m not sure why, I don’t think it’s only because I’m a snob or the whole ‘any club that would have me as a member’ issue. I suspect that surfing media is on the whole just better. Surfing as a media industry has been around longer than climbing and there’s a wider audience for it and therefore more money in it, so it’s evolved to the point where the basic surfing movie parameters have been established and refined to their utmost awesomeness. Maybe. I mean that makes sense, yeah?
Climbing pr0n is, I imagine, a younger phenomenon with a smaller, much more niche audience. A non-surfer can enjoy a surfing movie, but climbing doesn’t often make a lot of sense on the screen to someone without a real experience to impose on what they’re seeing. Then again, that is definitely not the case with the very top of the line climbing movies, like the one’s I see at the Banff Mountain Film Festival road show. And I watch Dosage pretty regularly just to, ya know, maintain. But even small-time surfing videos have something…special going on.
The basic surfing video “story” goes something like this: “Me and my friends went someplace beautiful and we had a really good time. We like each other, and we like life. Surfing is neat” and there’s none of the stress and ambition that you, or at least that I, sense with the majority of climbing media. No one talks about how hard it is, or dwells on their self-doubt and disappointment. And there’s not much pride and elation over doing well, either. There isn’t even any ‘doing well’, just going, and falling or not falling or whatever. Another wave is comin up. It’s all just for kicks. Of course, with so much financial support and endorsement, surfing can afford to shirk the ambition and just hang out, making it look easy. And, being so much older, they’ve learned to hide the rabid snobbery and attitudes when the camera comes out. Maybe climbing stuff is just too close to home, and reminds me of my own stress and ambition about it, but surfing is not the love of my life so I can watch it in peace. Maybe the cultures of climbing and surfing are just drastically different. And maybe I should aim to embody aloha, but spend my time on the desert waves.
The Leah Dawson video (the first one I put on up there that started this whole thing) features longboarding, which I love to fall doing, but what stands out to me is the way she talks about the place she is and how much is suits her dream wave fantasy. It reminds me of how I feel about Hueco. Like, man, climbing is glorious anywhere, and I love central Texas more than life and I’m so grateful to go climb in far away exotic places. But last year when I first went out there, Hueco felt like what I had been looking for since I started. I hope the feeling is still there this year, and that it’s stronger. I’m gonna spend one more weekend at the warm weather lake, and head west on Monday for a 6-week (<>?) trip.
Leah Dawson is featured in Liquid Salt right now too, an online surfing magazine of mostly interviews. I read this line a few times…
Managing everything so that I can sustain myself financially is challenging, but I am confident that it is only a matter of time and dedication before I combine all of my passions into a lucrative lifestyle. I like to think of it as being in the business of making dreams a reality.
Here’s another surfing video (trailer) I like to watch repeatedly. Yeah I dunno. But it’s got G-love!
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