Following on from the Stoke - what is it? article, a few weeks ago where i discussed what stoke is, it is now time to turn our attention to "getting stoked".
Over the winter one of our team guys, Adam Wootton, was going through a bad patch and questioning his own commitment to skimboarding. He managed to turn things around, and "get stoked", and this his story of how that happened.
So, i am going to hand over to Adam, and let him describe in his own words, what changed his whole perspective.
How i got myself stoked - by Adam Wootton
In recent months, personal events in my life that only my close friends know about have made me question my commitment to skimboarding.
My skimming had been lacking and with Mark Mason powering ahead into, dare i say it, the number one spot in the UK, and in my opinion the best skimmer (cue head explosion), skimming for me seemed to be losing its fun.
Talking to Mega (namedrop) online, made me see into his way of life, and how much fun he had regardless of the conditions. It made me think back and remember the 2007 UK Skimfest.
Anybody who was there could tell you right away that Mega was head and shoulders above everybody else, both skill and height-wise, and he made every other UK skimmer look, in a word, crap. I remember i didnt like that.
A foreigner who is barely pro can come over and make the best skimmers in the United Kingdom look like complete novices. What Mega was doing in those conditions i previously thought was impossible. So when i saw that it wasnt, i realised what was holding me back. I had already written off the chances of even trying what he was doing, so i never attempted it. The only way of learning is to attempt new things, and nobody was doing that. It was a big eye opener for me!
After chatting with Mega, I talked with Matt (semi-namedrop) and Chris about the state of the UK skim scene. We had some disagreements, but one issue was clearly agreed upon - it's time to step it up a notch.
You may ask what has changed my attitude and mind. The talk with Matt and Chris, a chat with Mega, personal events in my life making me realise what is more important to me, and maybe the defining issue, i read through the Foreverskim interviews.
These are interviews with up and coming amateurs, who were once at the standard we are now. It made me realise that getting better isnt hard, its easy. You skim with people who are better than you, skim frequently as possible and enjoy yourself whilst pushing yourself. Go read them.
The reason i have written this is chiefly to spread what im thinking and feeling, and spread some "stoke" to everybody else. Its also so that i can realise it myself, that a few months ago i was considering not skimming again, but now im skimming better than i have ever skimmed before.
It is time to increase the level of skimming in the UK. You can do this however you want. Personally, i intend to skim harder and more frequently, and try to land everything i try, and to land better tricks than Mark can! That is how I am going to step up my game. You can do it however you want, just make sure you dont lose the stoke.
The UK skim scene needs to boost up a level and i'm going to do my best to contribute. I hope you do too.
Stay stoked UK, and lets make this the summer that skimming lifts off.
Thanks for reading - Adam Wootton!
In my view, Adam's skimboarding level has gone through the roof this year. His close relationship with Mark has meant that they have fed off one another, and spurred each other on to reach a new level of skimboarding that the UK hasn't seen before.
This is down to sheer commitment, and getting in the water and practicing for hours, even if its only just 6 inches of slop at our local beach, Adam has been out there laying down new tricks that he has been learning through watching skimboarding DVD's.
Its now just a few short weeks to the International skim contest in Hossegor, France, and with Adam skimming at his best, i am hoping for a top 5 finish. This will be a pretty special moment for him, and will be the culmination of 6 months of hard work to turn his life around.
If Adam can do it, then you can too, get yourself stoked, get out there and skim or surf and do what makes you feel happy!
Cheers for now... Matt