Resolution Theory

Rasta pigdog at Kandui

Lose 20 pounds. Learn Spanish. Get out of debt. No one keeps New Years resolutions. And surf-related resolutions are the worst. Dawn patrol more. Master your pig-dog. Become a big-wave guy. Go ahead, bow your head in shame for a minute. We'll wait. In fact, we'll join you.

Surfing is an inherently goal-less activity. Unless you're on the WQS, you're basically just looking for a daily buzz. Some stokey-good feelings. A cool turn. A clean barrel. A macho drop. The high from a single good wave can last for days.

So here's a New Year's suggestion to keep your surfing guilt free in 2009: leave the resolutions where they belong — on the beach with the rest of your problems. Then, go surfing on January 1st no matter how bad it looks. Whether it's a still-drunk dawn patrol or a late afternoon hangover cure, just get in, get a few, and try not to think at all. Then get up the next day and do it again.

See. Who needs resolutions to surf more?

Back in the real world, you can stop biting your nails, clean out that storage shed and quit smoking, but dragging all those New Year's expectations into the lineup is just going to cramp your style and bog down your winter.

We'll see you out there January 1st — bright and early, right?

Five Brand New Surfing Resolutions For People Who Think Our Resolution Theory is Total Bullshit.

1. GET A GOOD SURF PHOTO OF YOURSELF: You're not getting any younger. You might not even be getting any better. And getting a decent photo of yourself is not exactly easy. Make this resolution with a friend (particular one with a zoom lens or a water housing) and take turns photographing each other on decent-sized days (forget the grovels — no chance). You don't even need to be doing something radical, just try to relax and look stylish — a cool bottom turn or even a big closeout might just make a good fish story for your grandkids. (TIP: You can't surf AND take photos. It's not gonna happen — especially with that waterproof disposable camera you got for Christmas. So if you can't bear to miss out on some sessions, consider enlisting a sympathetic girlfriend or wife. Or hiring some a photography student: tell him it'll kick-start his career. Yeah, right.)

2. SURF ALONE MORE: Your surf buddies are holding you back. They get out too early. They get in too slow. They cancel. They gab. They forget things. Lose 'em. You'll surf longer. You'll surf better. And you'll evolve your relationship with surfing to a whole new level. (TIP: Don't think. Don't talk about it. Don't check conditions. Just go.)

Dane Reynolds, switchstance in Java

3. BECOME A LOCAL… SOMEWHERE ELSE: It takes time to develop local status. Find another wave you love, and start showing your face. Every day. Good waves or bad waves. And never pull back. When you finally start getting "the nod" from the other locals, you'll know you're on your way. There's a lot you can learn from starting out as the New Guy again. And don't worry, your old take-off spot will still be there at your old spot when you go back. (TIP: Pick somewhere nearby to become local…uh, it's kinda the definition. Even better: move.)

4. DISCOVER A NEW SURF SPOT: If you still think the Google Earth Challenge is a marketing gimmick, you haven't been paying attention. You don't need to be a pro or a surf photographer to pioneer a new surf break — they're just like anyone else, but more determined. Get determined. The research tools are a website away. The journey there will be something you never forget. And even if it's not the next Cape St. Francis or Skeleton Bay, if you're the first one to surf it, guaranteed you'll catch the waves of your life. Or at least you'll tell someone that. (TIP: Partner up with someone. Set a date. Make a plan. Make it happen. Start here:

5. TEACH SOMEONE TO SURF: If this sounds like "The Cardinal Sin" to you, then you're exactly the guy we're talking to. You're clinging to tightly to your hobby. Share a little. If you love something, give it away. Passing on The Stoke to someone deserving is one of the best ways to rediscover the joy you fell in love with the first place. We're talking to Agro-Drop-in Flyaway-Air Guy…somebody needs a hug, and it's you. (TIP: Children yield the best results — just be careful.)

OKAY…Those are our ideas. Whatever. Write it down on your hand. Wake up tomorrow with a sweaty blur on your knuckles. And start forgetting you ever tried to make a resolution. It's only surfing.