Ride the wave, not your board

I often feel thrilled to jump into the water and catch whatever comes in my direction. I grab the board roughly, look where are the breaks, where are the rips, and within a minute or two, I'm at the break looking for the opportunity to have a wave of the day. A set comes, I make sure not to drop on anybody, and I'm on my feet going down the line. Feels good first, but being caught in the moment, defaulting to my automatic behaviours, I look under my feet rather than down the line. While surfing, I tend not to pay attention to what the wave offers but to focus on staying up as long as possible and making some turns on the way, which is an excellent way to spoil the best wave. As I've recently have heard, "We should surf the wave, not the board", and this sentence has resonated in my head since then.

Understanding the ocean is not an easy task. It takes a lot of learning and practical experience to grasp the topic. On top of basic knowledge, you need to spend many hours looking at the waves and actively trying to understand them to get the feel of the big blue. I've been exploring the subject for a few years already, with a bit of arrogance at the beginning, and the more I know more I see it is in front of me. One thing is understanding the rips and currents in the ocean, and another is reading the waves themselves to choose the correct line, staying in the pocket, and having a fluent ride. The best surfers remain in the pocket throwing tons of sprays on every turn. They use the wave's shape to get speed to find the right moment to bottom or top turn, and they are constantly looking for the next section that will allow them to throw the next turn, get barreled or go up in the air. The focus is not on the equipment they have. They rarely look under their feet, focusing all the attention on the wave itself. As much as having the correct board is very important, it is not the goal itself. We come to the ocean to ride the wave, not the board.

In my day job, software development, it is also a widespread sin that I'm guilty of myself. We often pay a lot of attention to the technology we use, which might be very interesting, but at the same time, might defeat its purpose. We work in a particular domain that hires technology to help out solving the pain points, and I firmly believe it should be our primary focus. Looking too much under our feet on the equipment we are using might take us out of the track. Like in surfing, our equipment and tools are essential, but those only help us ride the wave of complexity and are not its primary goal. So instead of putting our main focus on it, we should look down the line searching the next section and use our boards and frameworks to surf with style and fluency.



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