Tipping our hats to fathers everywhere.
We often take our fathers for granted, but the truth is, they are our heroes, from the moment they pushed us into our first wave, the hundreds of times they took us to football, to the first time they bought us a beer, they've been shoulders to cry on, they've inspired us and made us better people, and for that we'll always be grateful.
We've been gathering some stories from the workshop about what makes dads so special. Ambassador Easkey Britton has a lot to thank her father for;
"Born into Ireland's pioneering surfing family on the north-west coast of Ireland, Dad is my number one surfing companion. All my life I've been following him into the sea - he's an even bigger surf addict than I am! It 's such a lovely thing to share and we still go on surf adventures to cold, remote coasts. Dad doesn't like anywhere too warm, or with too many people and has never surfed not in a wetsuit. A true cold water surf pioneer!
One of my earliest surf memories with Dad:
It’s better to laugh in scary situations.
Although I can’t remember the experience of catching my very first wave, I can vividly recall, when I was about four or five years old, my very first wipeout that involved me floundering about in a stiff, old and over-sized wetsuit, swallowing water as I tried to regain composure.
I can still envisage myself when I finally surfaced, seeing my Dad laughing while I fumed, not from being freaked out by the experience but at the battering my little ego had taken.
But what Dad had actually taught me was how it’s better to laugh in scary situations or whenever life throws shit your way and to not take it too seriously. This has been a valuable life lesson that proved itself in many an adventure over the years."
Our trading manager Bex shares a similar sentiment;
Somewhere in my parents' loft there is a photo of me and my dad on Putsborough, either side of his brand new longboard. I'm maybe 14 or 15 years old, and I can remember exactly what I was thinking as the photo was taken. Despite growing up in landlocked Oxford before the advent of the internet, with very little exposure to mainstream surf culture, I was thinking 'wahine' as I draped myself down the side of the board. When we got the photos back from the lab and my dad saw my uncharacteristic and awkward pose, he told me off, saying 'why do you want to look like that, [springing into a semi-crouch] you should be like this, ready for action!'.
My dad never wanted a son (in fact he wanted four daughters, but fortunately for me, the eldest, he stopped after two), he brought me up to be a surfer, not a surf chick. He always encouraged me to push myself and keep up with him; when the waves were too big for me to join him out back on my surfboard he sent me out on my bodyboard instead so I could get out and get used to bigger surf. Not liking the cold was never really an option, I was under the impression that we didn't get surf in the summer for years because all our trips were in the colder months when the surf was better.
That photo taught me a valuable lesson about what I should aspire to as a surfer, that being a female surfer didn't mean I had to look or act a certain way, I just had to love surfing. So today I'm saying thank you to my dad for making me the surfer I am today - I didn't need female surfer role models when I was growing up, because with him everyone was equal in the surf.