Speed is God-that’s an odd statement, but anyone who’s ever dropped in on a wave and felt the mysterious and mind-blowing experience of rocketing down the line on any size wave will attest that going fast on a surfboard is a better feeling than nearly anything else in the world. The wind races past your ears and blows your hair back. It howls and whistles at you as you steady yourself, gripping your board with your toes, holding on like a bird on a wire.
This love affair begins mostly in childhood. You usually get the speed bug from either being dragged along the shore on a Boogie board by an adult or riding on the whitewash from a few yards out. You may not remember for yourself, but when you see a little kid doing this, the laughter and smiles speak volumes.
As you progress in surfing, you start to catch bigger and better waves. You start to feel bursts of speed you’ve never felt before. A lot of times you’re going so fast you lose control-you’re riding a runaway train bound for disaster, a bucking bronco heading toward the wall-and it feels good.
Now you’re getting pretty good. You’re learning to control your speed and using it to make your turns better and make sections, even getting barreled. You are now completely addicted to speed.
Matt Archbold has a tattoo on his neck that says “Built For Speed,” and when you watch him surf you see that he was-but in a way, we all are. Any one of us who’s ever ridden a wave knows that the faster you’re going, the scarier, more exciting, and the more fun it is.
Not many of us are pro, but one thing we all have in common is a lust for speed and a desire to go faster. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in the turns, stalls, and carves that happen on an average wave to remember the best part about surfing-going fast.-Chris Cote