Wednesday, October 6, 2010

#8 Mindsurfing

Mindsurfing - every surfer does it. In the words of every surfer’s favorite stoney-baloney surf guru, Mr. Jeff Spicoli, “Surfing’s not a sport, it’s a way of life, you know, a hobby.  It’s a way of looking at that wave and saying, “Hey bud, let’s party!”  While Spicoli may have smoked away his last brain cell shortly after making that illustrious statement he still managed to hit on something quite profound; that surfing a wave requires visualization.  Whether in the water, just checking the waves, flipping through a mag, or watching a surf flic, surfers are constantly envisioning what they would do on a wave.  Visions of impossible barrels made and aerial antics galore get tossed around in a surfer’s mind much like a gambling junkie’s anticipation of winning it big in Vegas. Not surprisingly, mindsurfing does not always transfer over to reality the way a surfer might have imagined.  The requisite wipeouts that are all too common never quite seem to make it off the cutting room floor of the surfers’ mindsurfing experience, go figure!

Surfing often represents many different things to many different people.   Some refer to it as just a sport while others revere it as an art form and a way of life (See Spicoli).  Mindsurfing transcends all of these boundaries by supporting every surfer’s unique conclusions as to how a wave should be ridden.  One surfer’s cutback opportunity is another surfer’s air section.  It’s all in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the mind of the surfer. 

Mindsurfing, scientifically speaking, is merely a conglomeration of synapses and neurons working together in a surfer’s brain to generate an image of the optimal wave riding experience.   Science has actually proven that visualizing an activity prior to doing it stimulates the portions of the brain that are used to carry out the intended activity.  So next time you pull up to your favorite surf break, put a little thought into your surfing and see where it takes you.  Who knows, progression could be just a daydream away!


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