- June 24, 2009
- 0 Comments
- By Story/Photos By Chip Bock
The “Waterman Lifestyle”…in the past few year’s this phrase has been taking the surfing and outdoor culture by storm. Australia to Hawaii, California to Africa, Asia and even Europe have embraced the Waterman Lifestyle.
So what defines a “Waterman’ ( or Waterwoman)…
I like to define it as someone who enjoys being in or on the water in a variety of ways, usually based on their geography and the water conditions at hand that day.
Many of us (The Global Surfing Tribe) define each other by what we ride. “Shortboarders”,“Longboarders” or “Bodyboarders”. Each group unwilling to acknowledge the others vice as a True Core way to enjoy the waves and the ocean we all love so much.
The Waterman Way transcends all of these ongoing definitions and allows us to respect and enjoy the water in so many new (and old) ways.
- When the waves are flat, a Waterman may; Snorkel, Scuba, Spear Fish, Swim, Skim, paddle a Stand Up Paddleboard, Prone Paddleboard, Kayak, Outrigger Canoe etc.
- When the waves are small and mushy or there is shore pound, a Waterman may; Body Surf, Body Board, Stand Up Paddle Surf, Kayak Surf, ride a Longboard, Fish or Fun Shape and so on.
- When the surf is blown out with wind, a Waterman may; Kite Board, Wind Surf or Sail.
- When its head high plus, glassy and hollow, a Waterman may; use any of the craft used for small surf including High Performance Shortboard Thrusters.
The key is that a Waterman (or Waterwoman) matches their equipment (or lack of) to the conditions and water environment they are in. A Waterman may also experiment with equipment that may not be the best for that day, just may make it more challenging (and Fun).
In my mind, to be a Waterman is to embrace what it means to be on, in or under the oceans, rivers and lakes that we all love so much. So to that…we are ALL Watermen.
So the next time you are sitting in the line up on a shortboard for hours waiting for a “good one” to roll in, think about how much fun it might be to paddle in to one of the numerous smaller ones that have slid past all day on a Stand Up Paddleboard or maybe body surf the perfect deep barrels of the shore pound.
Better yet, ask a fellow Waterman to borrow their Longboard for a few or even their Stand Up Paddleboard. You will be surprised how willing a Waterman is to sharing their gear, because to us, sharing The Stoke is what living on this Big Blue rock is all about.
PS: Please remember that if you are a Stand Up surfer, realize that you can catch EVERYTHING, so respect your fellow brothers and sisters in the line up and call out that clean set coming outside (the one you can see from your higher vantage point) and give them a hoot as they drop in on it. As legendary Waterman Mike Doyle once answered when asked who the best surfer is…”The one having the most fun!”
-See you in the water,
Chip Bock (Waterman)