Ask any surfer to describe their best wave ever and you’ll get some version of the same response – oneness with the wave, maybe a feeling of being completely in touch with the present moment in the tube, flow, an indescribable connection to nature.
Such experiences can go one of two ways: surfers might conclude that surfing results in some form of enlightenment or connection to a higher power or that it doesn’t. The group that finds itself in the latter category often rolls its eyes at the former, but surfing means a lot of things to a lot of people and as such we choose to reserve judgment.
Take the above: an interview where actor Kelsey Grammer (notable for the sitcoms Cheers, and Frasier) sits down with Graham Bensinger (who has some highly watchable interviews with Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton we highly recommend) to chat about Grammer’s surfing days in his youth.
The way the man describes surfing in those days – completely in the past tense, that is – sounds as though he no longer surfs, which is a bit sad.
Still, one of the most poignant moments of the interview is when he details a single wave on what sounds like a windy, mediocre day in Palm Beach.
“Suddenly I hit (a wave) that was fantastic,” says Grammer. “I was going left and I looked up through the wave as it sort of peaked above my head and I caught the sun through the wave and right at that moment I just went *pff*. Like I vanished into this place that was beyond the sun. And I thought I saw angels all around me. I thought, ‘Boy, if this is what dying is, if this is where heaven is, I’m good.'”
The experience is sure to resonate with some and cause eye rolls among others. We invite you to share which side you’re on in the comments.