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The honorable Peter King, a longtime surf media guru, is putting together a series on the history of surfing and surf manufacturing with former SURFER magazine editor Chris Mauro. As is his usual, Peter has incredible access to some real heroes of the pursuit. Like Barton Lynch, one of the most articulate (and stoked) humans on the planet whose surf commentary has long helped enrich World Surf League broadcasts.

Chris asks Barton whether surfing is art or sport, a long-argued debate and one that is as thought-provoking as it is timeless. Well, Barton goes a different direction. He claims surfing is medicine. Medicine for your soul and something that makes whomever has it in his or her life better for it.

Mr. Lynch tells a heartfelt anecdote of his own father’s passing when he was a young boy. The only thing he needed at that terrible moment was to surf. So his godfather drove him down to Palm Beach and Kiddies Corner in North Sydney so he could get in the water. “I paddled out and cried, and surfed a couple and cried,” he said. “And (surfing) was there for me. My darkest hour mate. It’s always been there for me. Every wave, every duck dive, every paddle out.”

A fantastic answer from one of surfing’s finest.


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