The Art Of Surf | Words With Patrick Dean
“Surfing to me is the great equalizer. It makes all the bullshit of everyday life melt away and disappear. It’s a spiritual and mental cleanser for me, it humbles me, strips me of ego, and I come out of that water each time a better person. It’s a baptism of sorts.
Surfing is a spiritual endeavor if you look for it, some people just don’t look for it because they’ve got too much garbage bottled up inside them. I was never one for team sports and the jock mentality, surfing is a solitary pursuit, as it’s a man and nature relationship. The ocean, sometimes she works with us, sometimes she punishes us. Either way it’s an unpredictable and refreshing experience. I love the fun playful sessions and I love the butterflies and scary feeling I get when it’s cranking at 8-9 feet in New Jersey, to 15 to 18 foot waves as I’ve surfed when traveling. Nothing is more raw and breath taking. She is the judge, jury, and executioner.
Sometimes it’s seeing a sunrise from the water, a sunset session in the fall, a whale, a dolphin or birds flying by in that perfect golden light that makes me appreciate life so much. All of those moments and experiences were provided by a life of surfing, it can save your life. I know it probably saved mine, or at the very least saved me a life of bottled anger and depression. I used to think life was pretty much a pointless piece of shit, filled with school, work, bills, money, responsibility, more work, more bills, stupid obligations, more work, etc. Having that relationship with nature is truly the best therapy. Now I think life’s only partially a pointless piece of shit! (Laughs)
I’ve always loved that historically, surfing was an outsider, fringe dweller, underground, weirdo pirate activity in the U.S. You were not a model citizen if you did it. You were a bum, probably a druggie, and a hooligan. I think that’s changed since the advent of corporate hijacking of surf culture and contests, which brings jock mentality into surfing. Yet I still believe it’s a special sacred thing and there are those weirdo pirates doing it, they “get it” and then there are the sheep, who should go back to playing football and baseball instead, leaving the line ups a nicer place to be.
I try to live a life full of art, music, nature, and culture. Surfing is a huge part of living a complete life, it’s a major piece of that puzzle for me. I feel each one of us doing it has a responsibility to give back to it, keeping it pure, spiritual, weird, punk, and pirate!”
– Patrick Dean | Owner of Tattooville Neptune, Tattooer, Artist, Musician, Husband, Father, and Surfer.
Photos: Fiona Mullen
Surf Photo: Julie Michaels
To order Pat Dean’s limited edition “Metal Mudra” T shirt, Go here!
All funds from T shirt sales support the further works of www.surfandabide.com and the upcoming “Surfing Sadhana” book. Thank you.
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