When I rode my first wave, I had already been involved in a bunch of action sports. But surfing was different. There was just something about being on a wave and that wave pushing me toward shore as I stood up on a board—being in the ocean, in God’s creation and having His creation carry me. It was amazing.
Then I got better and started surfing bigger waves. I could actually go inside the wave in a barrel ride, or tube ride. It takes courage to drop in on a bigger wave, but once you do and you’re inside, it’s exhilarating. You’re surrounded by a wall of water powerful enough to crush a car. But you’re riding it!
Inside it, everything seems to slow down but that wave is moving fast. A lot of times, I’ll put my hand in the wall of the wave to slow myself down so I can ride inside the tube longer—it’s called a stall. As you put your hand in the wave, it’s like a rushing waterfall—you hear the roar of it—and feel the pressure against your hand. The wave feels almost solid.
Sometimes when I’m inside the wave, I can feel the force of the water as it explodes at my back, pushing me out of the tube. What an incredible feeling as it hits me from behind, propelling me forward. The wave is spitting, and I can feel the spray as I fly out of it.
That’s as good as it gets.
And for the past 13 years I’ve had the privilege of using the sport of surfing as a tool to share my faith with thousands through surf camps, outreach events and documentary surf films.