Few things in life will consume a person like catching the surf bug. Man was given no gills, no flippers, no fins or any other features that would make even the best athlete a “natural.” We weren’t made to function in the ocean therefore we require wetsuits, boards, leashes, fins, traction pads and wax before even setting off in the grueling, humbling and time consuming process that is learning to surf.
“Surfing teaches you to persevere,”says Johnny Irwin. “As you see yourself progressing, it gives you so much self confidence.” So with that belief Irwin started City Surf, a San Francisco Bay Area organization that introduces underserved inner city youths to surfing and the valuable life lessons that can come with it. “Paddling in the ocean can be a metaphor for paddling in life,” he says. “Sometimes you get it, and sometimes you fall off. But the times you get it, it’s really rewarding. Because you know you worked hard for it.”
Simply put, Irwin and his crew that holds regular beach days and surf camps share the exact same belief most of us hang on to (otherwise we wouldn’t stick to it, right?): the ocean has a beneficial impact on our lives. And who knows how much inspiration you’re handing somebody when you introduce them to that not so simple, often lifelong, never ending obsession with catching waves?
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the City Surf Project here.