"To catch a wave was (and is) to stoke the fires of the heart and soul. Hence the terms: to be stoked, a stoked life, degrees of stoke and pure stoke." - John Grissam, Pure Stoke (1982)
Every true surfer/skimboarder has had the feeling of stoke at some point in their lives.
That feeling you get from nailing your first wrap or barrel, or sticking that big-spin you have been working on for months. The feeling you get whilst gliding effortlessly down the wave, when your mind forgets all your everyday worries, and its just you and the wave, and you are living just for that moment.
For me, I can think of one person who demonstrates "stoke" more than anybody else i know: Chris Danby.
Chris lives to surf & skim. He goes to work only to earn money for the fuel to take him on his next surf/skim trip. He is the first in the water (5am) and the last to leave at night, having completed 4 surf sessions, quite often at different beaches in different counties on the same day.
For Chris putting on a cold wet wetsuit at 4.30pm during the winter months to catch the last 15 minutes of light is not a problem. He is "stoked" to surf - every wave, every session is dedicated to getting the feeling that every surfer or skimboarder knows.
That, to me, is stoke. To dedicate every waking hour to getting that next wave, wherever it may be.
In fact, Chris is so stoked he has recently been made "Director of Stoke" for the whole of the Sandskater team. He is now in charge of making sure all the team is "stoked", and the words "i can't be bothered" are never heard! 😉
So when one of our team guys was going through a tough time over the winter months, and questioning his own commitment to skimboarding, Chris, amongst others, stepped in to help him through it.
In the next part of the "stoked series" of blog articles, you will hear from Adam Wootton, as he describes what helped him changed his whole perspective.
Cheers for now - Matt