Split Peak Personality

Words by John Angiulo (Photo above by Erik Schwab.)

Surfing has two sides. There is a perceived meditative quality to surfing and from that many times surfers are seen, and portray themselves, as peaceful, humble and kind individuals. Unfortunately, many times this is a facade. For anyone who has grown up with or experienced surf culture in depth, we are all aware of the agro, egotistical, localist undercurrent that dominates many surfer’s point of view. The same guy that’s all peace and love brah, can, perhaps when around a few of his less enlightened brethren, turn into thug who doesn’t give a second thought to what is essentially harassment and physical assault. Just like a perfect A-frame where the peak can be split, so surfing’s personality is split.

Foto 2017-01-20 12 00 33 Graffiti on the Canary islands. 

When there’s a perfect A-frame, there are many things that can go right, just like in any decision we make. One person can go left, the other can go right and both are happy. One person can back door a section while the other hits the opposite shoulder. If you have coordinated, talented or at least fun loving surfers, you can actually get more than one person going each way and have it be an incredible experience. This is essentially the mindset of someone who is coming from the part of their persona that is filled with love and reverence. Then of course there is the other side.

There is jockeying for position, someone paddling as fast as they can around someone else just to get a wave that most likely isn’t worth it. There is blatant dropping in. There are people crashing. There’s calling someone off the wave just before going over the falls while still yelling. There’s straightening out and missing the section. There is crashing head long into someone else as you each attempt to force your agenda in going the opposite direction. This is the reality of splitting the peak with surfers infused with fear, insecurity, anger and hate.

image5 Just got robbed on a Cornish beauty. Photo by Olly Fawcett.

What I’m saying is that, just like when there is a perfect A-frame in the water, each moment in life and our interactions with other provides a similar range of potential possibilities. And it all comes down to what is going on inside of our heads. It all comes down to which part of our split peak personalities we consciously allow to shine through. For all people it is important to realize we can come from a place of either love or fear. For surfer’s it is the same, though, there is such a great potential for surfer’s to make a meaningful impact in the world.

Surfer’s are a global community of diversely talented humans who all share at least one common love and most likely many more. Because of that we have the fortunate opportunity to be able to relate with others across national, socio-economic, racial and cultural divides. In a world that is poised to evolve positively, but is being held back by archaic models of power, domination, avarice and destruction, we need global communities that can consciously push past fear and act cohesively from a place of love.

Party - respondek Party wave in Indonesia, with Craig Anderson, Ozzie Wright and Dion Agius, as seen in the book Dion by Respondek. Photo by John Respondek.

The reality is this world has enough waves (resources) for everyone. It is only when we choose to split peaks with a sense of fear that we need to quarrel with one another. When we come from a place of love we see that there are so many A-frames and we can each choose to split those peaks in a way that everyone can experience life with peace and joy.

These A-frame opportunities show the split in our personalities. It is a crosscurrent in the ocean of our collective lives. Where we choose to go, if we choose to come from Love or fear, will play a part in determining how we evolve as a global surfing community as well as how we evolve as a global human community. So when given the chance to split a peak, choose fun, loving, joy, and forget about insecurity, fear and hate. This way everyone will get the chances they need to get barreled in the waters of life. And if everyone’s getting barreled, there’s no reason to quarrel or brawl, just sit back, crack open a beer and celebrate another day of being alive.

Mitch Fong ceylon sliders Sharing is caring, Ceylon sliders in Sri Lanka. Photo by Mitch Fong.