By Dan Hamlin… Surfer: Fraggle  Photos: Shawn Tracht

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Lately I’ve been able to feel the tension a little more.  It seems to be the result of a number of things: school, work, bills, endless talk about the economy; they all play a part in it.  Work needs me to cover an extra shift, bills don’t stop, and the mainstream media seems solely to exist in order to cause panic.  It can seem like an endless cycle.  Go to school, work, study, pay bills, and if there is time eat and sleep.  When did life get so complicated; I don’t usually handle complicated very well.  Maybe that’s why surfing is so fun.  It’s not complicated.  You get your board, you paddle out, you catch some waves…you have fun.  No deadlines or exams, just you and nature.  And nature is priceless.

As surfers we get to see firsthand some of the best nature has to offer.  One of the reasons I love to surf so much is because we get to be immersed in nature every time we paddle out.  Nature is integral in our pursuit of wave riding.  Surfers generally don’t have to be convinced of the importance of nature, we see it for ourselves.

But sometimes the rat race has a way of blurring the important things in life.  It’s easy to forget about the simple, pure joys that are found in nature; which is why every so often I like to load up my car and head off to a stretch of coast where I know I won’t see any buildings or developments, just untouched nature.  Sitting in the line-up, looking back at the rolling hills, with pine trees and oak trees interspersed along the coast, the smell of sage blowing through the air, I’m reminded that there is a lot of beauty all around us.  But that’s the point of my little sojourns up the coast, to get away from it all and remember the gift that is nature.

So folks, don’t let the TV fool you, it doesn’t matter who wins American Idol or who is dating Brittany Spears.  There is a world full of adventure and beauty out there, go experience it.  As surfers I’d say you already have a good start.

Dan can be contacted at