Smoking Pot and Surfing: Spiritually Enhancing or Destructive?

Waiting for the next set, I’m captivated by the ice plants on the bluff and their different shades of green, roots dangling impossibly off the rocks and dripping mini waterfalls of dew.

Turning my head back to the horizon (a surfer learns early on never to take their eyes off the horizon for too long), the sky resembles a psychedelic Jimi Hendrix-worthy “Purple Haze” with blueberry clouds and fire-red streaks stretching for as far as the eye can see.

It’s about 15 minutes after sunset and I’ll soon be catching my last wave of the day. What an amazing session it’s been. Head-high sets tapering and feathering perfectly, producing several rides in excess of 100 yards, with few people out.

This blissed-out feeling will saturate my soul for the rest of the day and beyond.

Would my session have been enhanced by smoking some pot?

Several people I know seem to think so.

I don’t judge people who smoke pot or the act of smoking pot. Everyone is so unique. For some people, THC may have a positive effect on people; for others who abuse it, it could knock them off balance and become a crutch.

I personally would never smoke before a session, primarily for two reasons. Cotton mouth is number one. Surfing for two hours, no matter if it’s a one-foot day on a longboard or an 8-foot day shortboarding, always drains me.

Before every session, I make sure I drink at least two glasses of water. Smoking anything dehydrates the body. Why would I want to dehydrate my body even more?

Having dry mouth out in the water is not a pleasant experience. Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve learned this the hard way, many years ago.

Being closer to age 40, I have no problem admitting to younger people that yes, I have smoked pot. But I personally think that anyone under the age of 21 shouldn’t smoke. Most people don’t have the willpower to just occasionally smoke, especially nowadays with pot being so prevalent. People who haven’t finished high school or college and smoke lots of pot, for the most part, are at risk for becoming apathetic underachievers and chronic abusers of other narcotics.

I don’t think pot is a gateway drug, but from my experience and observing friends I went to school with, the younger you start smoking pot, the more of a chance it does lead to being a gateway to partying with harder drugs.

Rare is the responsible teen who can smoke pot once in a blue moon with friends, giggle till their jaw hurts and then go back to being a good student.

The other main reason I wouldn’t suggest smoking pot before surfing is, especially on a big day, you might need that extra breath if you’re being held down for a long time. True, smoking pot before a session is not likely to cause you to drown but on a long hold down, I want my lungs to have as much air as possible.

Smoking pot can enhance an experience but it can also detract from one. Different strains of pot cause different reactions.

The best thing to do is to live life without relying on pot.

But if it’s the only way you can meditate and really focus inward, a puff or two might be the solution.

Some people use it to enhance creativity. Perhaps this journal entry (or should I be more hip and use the term “blog”?) would be better if I were under the influence of pot.

I didn’t need pot to enhance today’s session. Long gone are my days of enjoying psychedelic enhancements through pot. I personally don’t need it. After a session though, I often times feel drained and don’t feel like doing work.

One small hit and it’s like I’ve drank three shots of espresso. I’m focused and energetic. Mother Nature’s magic weed in this case is highly beneficial for me.

I will never, though, smoke it in a social situation. I feel it detracts from fully expressing myself verbally and emotionally.

Some surfers I know, who are 20 years older than me, still take bong hit after bong hit. Is that enhancing their spirituality or merely a habit developed over years? It’s the latter, I think.

Only you know deep down inside if smoking pot enhances your human experience or makes for a bad trip.

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