Surfing and the observer


Since my early teens surfing has been my great passion, however unlike most of the sports I take part in, I have never pushed into teaching surfing. The reason for this is simple, for me it is a time of peace and enjoyment – there is no pressure to perform well or to be responsible for anyone but myself. Due to this I have never advanced to a high level, I do it simply for myself.

Aside from the other water users (who mainly keep themselves to themselves, lost in their own private thoughts), the only other observers are the lifeguards – peering intently into my solitude with their binoculars from the comfort of their 4×4.

In order for the lifeguards to keep watch over you and protect you they have certain rules they expect you to follow, such as having different flags to dictate where you can and cannot go. These flags separate surfers from non surfers so that the lifeguards can keep track of who is where and also protect swimmers from being diced by someones fins or battered by a wayward board.

Many of the more confident water users tend to dislike these rules as they see them as restrictions on their freedom in the water.


Like a committed lifeguard God is ultimately concerned for our well being, however He too has rules for us to follow.

It is easy for us to resent these rules, in the same way people can resent the rules of the lifeguards. Many think that the rules simply restrict us and stop us from doing the things we want to do, however we must try to look beyond this feeling to the purpose behind them because in the end they are there for our benefit and protection whether we agree with them or not.


– Graham

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