all surfers have had them. many of them, in fact.
starting with that first wave that sent us speeding toward shore.
at each stage of our lives, we have one (or more) rides that stands out as a highwater mark.
some of them are incremental improvements on what had come before. others stand in such stark contrast that they leave no question as to their superiority.
a beginner friend of mine recently shared that she had caught what she thought was the best wave of her life that day. then she quickly qualified it by pointing out that it wasn’t that great of a wave, really, but was just good “for her.”
I call bullshit.
“best waves” aren’t about the external performance or even the wave itself.
they are about the internal feeling that results from the experience — the sense of elation; the sheer stoke.
new “best waves” happen most frequently early in our surfing careers.
though our skill set might improve, new “bests” become more rare as time goes on. there is no need to discount or qualify their quality.
stoke is not like dollars in a savings account. there is no interest paid. you don’t get more stoke later on by being harder on yourself now.
you’re future self gains nothing by quashing the excitement available here, today.
so, when you catch that next “best wave” — revel in that moment.
the ability to truly savor an experience may be the most important thing surfing can help us practice.