Surf Photo Friday – Role Models, Why They Still Matter
I opened the app to discover today’s offerings—selfies, bikini photos, over-exaggerated poses, pets, last night’s party pics—lined up like a never ending train of visual dominoes, same, same, and more of the same. But here’s something, a group photo on Matt Biolos’ Instagram.
“Big Thanks to @xococoho for coming down this morning and spending time with the girls from @shorecliffs_surf club. They were extremely pumped. You, Miss Coco, are a role model.”
Seeing the bright faces and shiny smiles brought me back to being a young surfer myself. I was suddenly transported back to a day when I foolishly bumped rails with Shaun Tomson (while we were both sitting on our boards at Rincon). He could have called me an idiot, but he didn’t. He smiled instead and I was an even bigger fan than before. I’ll never forget the day, just as these young surfers will always remember the morning Coco Ho visited their local break and surfed with them before school.
Role models matter, more so today than ever before. Sexiest this, hottest that, Top 10 lists on every body part imaginable—I can’t imagine what goes through the minds of young kids navigating a world where fame trumps everything else. False heroes with purchased social media followers and brain cell-killing reality shows are talked about ad nauseam while real heroes fly under the radar.
How many followers does your teacher have? Your doctor? Your local librarian? How about your parents or grandparents? While an educated guess would put their Klout scores in the single digits, their real life impact is immeasurable. They instruct, heal, love, and support us. In short, they’re role models and often the most important people in our lives.
While the experiences of the surfing population are as varied as the sand on the beach, there’s no single path that leads one toward becoming a person of influence. However, whether we’re world champions or locals at the nearest beachbreak, it all starts with a warm smile, a word of encouragement, the sharing of a wave. With a good heart and generous spirit, we can all make a positive impact on those around us. Role models still matter—they always will.
Thank you for dropping by for another installment of Surf Photo Friday. Have a great weekend everyone …and as always, thank you for your support of Jettygirl. Also, thank you to Matt Biolos for allowing us to share his photo for this week’s feature.
Above: The photo says it all—100% pure stoke. When you’re floating in the lineup, you see many things that don’t get covered by magazines, aren’t seen in photographs, and aren’t really celebrated at all. A while back one of those special swing waves hit the lineup at Lowers. Kelly Slater was in position for a wave he clearly had his eyes on. The only other person nearby was a tiny little kid who was tentatively angling for the same wave. The World Champ gave the kid a quick nod, the grom quickened his paddling speed and was soon dropping into a beautiful 100-yard right. The moment won’t be recorded in the halls of surf lore, but these small acts of kindness are what turn champions into legends.
Above: In one of my favorite post-heat photos, Brasil’s Bruna Schmitz shares a smile with a couple of young fans.
Above: Courtney Conlogue poses with a group of kids who will no doubt remember the moment for the rest of their lives.
Photo courtesy of Matt Biolos
Previous Surf Photo Fridays | Surfing New Jersey’s Polar Vortex Swells with the K Twins | Mele Saili and Hayden Lane, Cardiff Reef | Jill Manos Surfs the Freezing Water of Nova Scotia, Canada | Malia Ward, Chris Ward, & a Surf Photographer’s Second Worst Nightmare | Chloe Buckley & the Tiny Five Hundred Dollar Wave | A Special Surf Session with Ashley Lloyd Thompson, Julie Cox, Alex Thompson, Chris Cuevas & Sheri Crummer | Kelly Nicely & the Pelican Session | Mary Osborne & Her Beloved 9’10” Cooperfish Single Fin | Kelia Moniz, Megan Godinez, Geodee Clark & Bruna Schmitz | Kamalehua Keohokapu | Claire Bevilacqua | Lulu Erkeneff | Alexa Frantz |Rebecca Woods | Silvana Lima | Alessa Quizon
* Like, tweet, post, pin, comment or whatever. Waves are meant to be shared.