Having recently had two significant storms touch down in the UK – Ophelia and then her larger sibling Brian – social media has been positively buzzing with comments, pics and vids, pre, mid and post weather. As surfers, windsurfers, kiters and every other water going rider it’s easy to be swept along and caught up in the hype, euphoria and fallout.
Social media has a lot to answer for. The ‘my awesome life’ situation, where users see all manner of content relating to certain individuals ‘rockstar’ lives in the water can sometimes see that green eyed monster rising from the depths. Even though we know it’s all #fakenews, in the sense that amazing sessions don’t happen every day, it’s hard to swallow if you’re an onlooker stuck in the 9-5. Take stock, however, and realise these so called rockstars (we’re talking non-pros here to clarify) also have to work at some point. And even though photos don’t lie (do they?) the rider in question may have spent the whole session swimming, dodging bombs and getting worked just for that one golden image.
At the other end of the spectrum you also have those who simply don’t have the skills to tackle such weather phenomena. Yet the pressure to do so can be overwhelming. This is where those with experience need to be careful. Encouraging people to tackle conditions they wouldn’t normally consider, even without actually meaning to do so, should be given due consideration. That 3 minute video edit may show all your best bits but may omit the level/experience you need to be before getting involved.
So there are two points to this. Don’t believe everything you see is roses and don’t feel you need to prove anything to anyone. Everyone has their day in the sun. We’ll admit some out there do get more time to indulge in their watersport of choice. If this isn’t you, and you have to plan sojourns around daily work life and other responsibilities, then hang in there as your number will come up sooner or later.
For those still progressing: stick at it! Every day’s a school day – so the saying goes – and before long you’ll be ready for stepping up to the next level. In time you’ll be able to face down such storms as Brian and do so with suitable aplomb, we’re sure.
Social media can be a good thing. But when you’re striving to push your riding on to the next level, and feeling like you’re not getting your slice of the pie, it can be really irritating. Our advice: come away from the phone, tablet or laptop and go do something more wholesome. Trust us when we say the bravado will be but a distant memory very soon…