Guest view: Reflections on surfing, life, and what exactly all this is

It was a crisp Sunday morning in late October. A faint glow of consciousness shone through the slatted bedroom blinds, tattooing the fin of my newest wave-riding vehicle with a spray of sunlight. It was 8:09 a.m. The sun had been up for an hour and change, and I was late. I knew as well as anyone that precious ocean glassiness was slipping away by the minute. I took a survey of what was in front of me: all six of my surfboards stacked on a custom rack in front of my bed gleaming ecstatically with the memories of what once was: beautiful waves come and gone through 15 years and counting of avid surfing. I casually glanced at an old 1950s advertisement for Walker’s Bourbon that I cleverly...