Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Director Dave Baker stands with the Ruttkay family Nealie, Cornelia, Dax, Sean, and Agustus) following Sean’s win.

In Wrightsville Beach, NC yesterday I stepped up to the sandy starting line and went head to head with 51 of SENC’s greatest athletes to find out who was the fastest swim/run competitor around.  It was the 2021 Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Lifeguard tryouts and in the end, I finished first place to claim my 8th victory overall in the ten years that I have completed. For the past 24 hours, the outpouring of support regarding this accomplishment at the ripe age of 40 has been humbling and I thank everyone so much for the love.  The biggest question I have gotten in this interim is, “how do you do it at your age?”  My answer is simple, engage water physically on a daily basis.  Professionally, it is my mission to capture and philosophize on the aesthetic of water, however, the gas to my out-worldly goals is in the engagement of water physically and importantly to be mindful during the act.

To be properly in tune with the earth, one must be with its greatest element most.  The more you are the stronger you’ll be.  For me, that means going to a swimming pool once a day, for one hour, and swim vigorously. Then spend the remainder of the day consuming large amounts of water while doing otherwise normal mundane activities.  For others, this routine might be different or need to be different based on what life puts in front of you.  But the bottom line is this way of being and the philosophy is accessible to everybody. There are no excuses.  If all you have is a showerhead to put yourself in water put yourself there, and when you do be mindful about the experience. Think about nothing else but the fact that you are with this precious fluid at the moment you are in.  This water, the same exact fluid by molecule, was flowing the earth when dinosaurs were walking on it. To engage water in this way is to be king of your physical domain.  Winning for me yesterday was extremely gratifying but it is not why I train and engage water daily,  I engage water daily because if I didn’t I would not be the best human that I could be in this time.

  • -Sean Ruttkay

PS. Second most asked a question following the win:

Q: Are you going to lifeguard on the beach this
A:  No. I competed only for fun and as I wish I had the time to lifeguard this summer I must watch my own three children on the beach and mold them to their water-loving future.

In this time of COVID-19, all artwork is not created equal. In fact, most artwork particularly framed or canvas substrates can absorb and hold COVID-19 for days potentially spreading it through the house, office, or healthcare space.  But not the weatherproof aluminum substrate from EDA Surf Art.  Since 2005 we have been installing art in healthcare settings across the country with the issue of viral spread top of mind in mind. Our proprietary weatherproof aluminum art medium can be bleached and disinfected daily over the course of its long display life. With a simple spray bottle with a bleach solution and paper towel, the COVID-19 virus is destroyed instantaneously when applied to the art medium leaving the work clean fresh, and gleaming new.  In addition withstanding heavy cleaners like bleach, this weatherproof art medium is fire rated as Class A under ASTM E-84 testing for Flame Spread and Smoke Development.  With the aesthetic look of a stretched canvas with his gallery wrapped edges and without the porous contours of a canvas weatherproof aluminum artwork from EDA Surf Art is the perfect addition to a home that desires to be virus-free during these pandemic times. Water your wall and uplift your consciousness with the power of the ocean and the strength of virus-free artwork.  

Contact us today to start a custom order or when buying off of this site choose ‘Weatherproof Aluminum’ under the medium selection option.  Your art will be clean and you will be stoked!

If you work in an office, then you know how important the environment is to your productivity.  Last week I stepped into a Herman Miller Showroom and in two seconds it was obvious that these people knew how to build a world class office space. At their Washington DC showroom across the street from The National Gallery of Art, Herman Miller was hosting an Educational Party and Pop Up Healthcare Show where I was honored to have the EDA Surf Healthcare Art line exclusively showcased.  This event for senior healthcare executives, facility planners, architects, designers, and strategic planners, showcased not only Herman Miller’s latest in ergonomic healthcare furniture but a seminar from the Healthcare Advisory Board about the current state of the US healthcare system, followed by an informative presentation as to the best practice for sitting and standing at your workspace.  During the social cocktail and appetizer portion of the event, I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with many of the top individuals in the nation’s health care system.  One of the fascinating takeaways during these conversations was how much change is occurring on the landscape in the physical healthcare space.  With changes in Medicare proposed by the current Republican plan held up in the Senate, hospitals are expecting to take on more of the cost burden. Simply put, the CEO’s are looking at red balance sheets in forecast futures and are tweaking out. This sobering discussion was followed by more joyful conversations about water and how people in such a healthcare facility could improve their condition by being around water imagery.  The EDA Surf Trifecta approach to life (be in water / drink water / look at the water ) was well received and especially enjoyed by the scientist in the room for its empirical structure.  These talks were then followed by cool and practical wall watering discussions.

In takeaway and final analysis, the conclusion is that as the population ages and the population on a macro level suffer due to lax environmental laws, more money is going to be needed to help sick people. Where is the financial support going to come from as the healthcare system needs financial infusion?  As another sunset concludes, we must remember we are all mortal and stand on the thin ice of life and we never know when we too will need to visit a hospital. Hopefully, hospitals will continue to be a part of our health care infrastructure. Water the wall and feel the power.


It was five years ago that I really understood what cystic fibrosis was. I was having a nice Sunday lunch with my wife, Cornelia, (who was 8 months pregnant with our daughter Nealie Finn), at the Hanover Seaside Club in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Our beach friends Bryan and Victoria Wessell walked in the dining room with their fresh new born baby, Jozie and they were overflowing with joy and pride. However, I found out later that they were deeply concerned and with good reason. This was because Jozie had been born with Cystic Fibrosis or (CF), the genetic disease that affects the lungs and breathing. Since that lunch, I have watched Jozie become a true lover of the beach and one of my daughter’s best friends.  Watching the two of them play in the surf, you would never think about CF and Jozie’s struggles.  But, as my daughter Nealie tells me, Jozie starts each of her days with a vibrating chest therapy session, she has to take medication before each meal and is always on the lookout for germs (because people with CF are more susceptible to bacterial infections than the general population). These behind the scene routines are never a cause of complaint by Jozie or her parents. In fact, they are beacons of positivity, more stoked and joyous every day. Since her diagnosis, her parents have been extremely involved in the Annual Pipeline to a Cure Benefit and Gala which raises money for research in hopes of one day curing this horrible disease.  EDA Surf has been donating art each year to the auction. This year was the first year EDA Surf art was presented during the live auction. The piece chosen was an extra large (74″x 48″ Weatherproof Aluminum) work titled “Hold Down”.  

fight Cystic Fibrosis surf art auction piece

Auction piece “Hold Down“, sized 74″x 48”, and mounted to Weatherproof Aluminum raises $5K to fight CF.

This piece was chosen because it represents the feeling of being held down and not being able to breathe, the very horrific sensation these children and adults feel daily.  After an intense bidding war, it was an honor to see the art donated raise more than $5000 for the charity.  As the night concluded, one of the top doctors who does research for this disease, Dr. Scott Donaldson of UNC Chapel Hill, said we are on the cusp of a monumental discovery. He said, “Maybe someday soon we will have our final gala where we don’t ask for any money and will just party in celebration of the cure.”   Until that day comes, researchers will  need more money to help these very deserving children. If you would like to donate money to help children like Jozie fight cystic fibrosis please click this link here.




Wetting the camera is always a goal at EDA Surf.  When the Yellowstone guide said, “My dude, you’re going to get vaporized, no chance!”  My plans of finding the bluest Yellowstone hot spring and capturing insane visuals had been crushed.  My east coast naivety had been exposed.  In this world, it is the natural hot spring that stands next to the spitting barrel in the pantheon of desired hydro states.  Previous natural hot spring encounters had yielded memorable moments from Tuscany to Rotorua, New Zealand.  However, in Yellowstone, it is the contrasting states of the fire and ice that is oh so incredible.  yellowstone national parkWhen the opportunity of entering the mecca of natural hot springs arose, I thought, “this is the best location for thermal pools in the world, why not go for a dip!?”  As I found out, aside from it being against federal law to “hot pot”, just dipping in will kill you, due to the 160-466 degree water and that the PH from the molten lava is as high as acid.  This deadly combo evaporated all hopes of swimming, so it was here where I contemplated abandoning the idea for another day of snowboarding Big Sky mountain.  But, my trusty snowmobile guide, Art Camouflage (yes that was his real name) assured me that what we were about to go do was nothing short of spectacular and “of bucket list shit.” sean ruttkay yellowstone national park

In subzero temperatures, Art and I saddled up our snowmobiles and flew in formation over snow banks, through the West Gate into the National Park.  madison riverAs we made tracks deeper along the vaporous Madison River, American bison calmly grazed amidst billowing steam that is the trademark of this 640,000-year-old volcanic crater.  Plowing deeper into the Park we found raging waterfalls that sprayed a warm mist aloft melting surrounding snow.  As mind blowing as the flowing waterfalls were, it was the tropical blue pools that were of another world.  The desire to jump into the crystal turquoise vats was overwhelming, and without hesitation, I turned to Camouflage I said, “Are you sure…vaporized?”  Rolling his eyes, he calmly said, “Yes boss, still vaporized.” In the end, the beauty and death here are the positive and negative, just as the spitting barrel of the banzai Pipeline or the paramount peaks of Mt. Everest.  However, it is the tranquil and seductive nature of this unique natural form that sets it apart from the rest.  These hot pools are the forbidden fruit of the planet’s many watery aesthetic forms.

– Ruttkay / @edasurf

-Click on the image below to see all the EDA Surf images from Yellowstone National Park- 

steaming falls yellowstone national park

The life of EDA Surf can be marked by one defining principle and philosophy, it is that water alone can transform the life. In my creative pursuits, it has been watering the wall  that I have discussed most.  But it is the real life day to day physical engagement with water that is the steam powering my positive locomotion.  Based in southeastern North Carolina, world-class activities such as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, open water swimming, and even free diving are minutes away – just outside the door. But there is one activity that I have found brings electrifying life to the body and mind. That is lap pool swimming.  I can see you cringing now. Staring at a line back-and-forth for an hour in a pool … what could be more boring!?  And that is the point. In our modern times, moments with the silent self, “just being” have been lost.  "Breathing Under Water" Water mindfulness Art by EDA SurfHere in the pool, when the commitment is made to abandon electronics for the swim session, to engage the conscious ancient technology of the body, new realms of understanding are to be had.  I know it sounds mystical, but after two years of committed daily practice, I can say from experience that it is truly life-changing.  Depending on the day (either at 5 AM or 9 PM) the pool becomes my physical medium.  In this space, I flow from end to end training the mind to focus on the one and true aspect of living, the breath. In the pool attention to this living necessity is mandatory, because when overlooked, choking ensues. Yes, it is true, 100% attention to the breath is difficult but the attempt is worthy.  As in many quiet moments in life, the past and the future pass through the mind. And when they do, the vexation that ‘time think’ brings is compartmentalized and anchored in conscious breathing.   For instance, I might think of a new idea or remind myself of something I need to do. At that time a voice in my head says, “OK, you will do that, but remember the breath.” Then, as the attention returns to the breath, the flow of the swimming becomes smoother over the body, physically reinforcing the power of thought to the brain.  This is my daily water refuge, but finding your water retreat does not need to be a struggle.  It could be as simple as going to the local retention pond near your work at lunch or even dare I say staring at a glass of water for a few moments in your cubicle.  The thing about the aquatic mediation is that with water all around the only lacking element on this blue earth keeping us from bliss is time and commitment to be water focused.  So on this transformation Tuesday I challenge you to find your own water space and engage it.  Your ‘being’ will thank you.

-Ruttkay / @edasurf

For the uninitiated, there are three stages to the hurricane experience. Previous to Hurricane Florence, these stages were foreign to me, but after the last few weeks, I can confidently say that there is a process to this hurricane drama.

Stage 1: ‘The Tweak’

“Cornelia, we need to evacuate now!” I was adamant about leaving. We were 24 hours out from a Category 4 hurricane making a direct hit on our hometown of Wilmington, NC. “Sean I have been through these before and evacuating has its own set of problems.”  We battled, and from talking to many other families in the path of Hurricane Florence, they battled too. It was a dilemma, do you stay and risk life and limb but protect what you own, or do you pack up and head for the hills? In this pre-hurricane phase, I was very confident that we had to leave. The plan was to evacuate to Aberdeen, NC so we were not too far but far enough from the impact winds. My wife, a Wilmington native, had other plans and continued to prepare as she had been doing for the past 5 days. We accumulated a Generator, gas, food, enough water for weeks. It was now Thursday morning and 12 hours until the expected landfall of this deadly Hurricane.  The process of preparation was set, but I was still of the mind that we had to bolt. So, the car was loaded, ready to go, and stocked with extra gas cans for a straight 10-hour trip if needed. But the hunker down strategy, complete with a safe room and 7 days of supplies for a 4 person family was also in place. At this time, I thought we knew what we were going to do. Leave and run like hell. The warnings were grave. The Eye Wall was expected to hit with 100-120 mph winds, large trees would snap like twigs, and roofs could blow off. The storm was then set to stall and dump 3’ of rain on the region, flooding roads and isolating the area for up to 7-10 days without power and incoming relief supplies. The outlook was bleak and not an environment I wanted to put my family through. I had Cornelia on board and we had come to the conclusion that we would leave. But the universe had other plans. Our family cat, Bathsheba, did not show up as expected for her morning feeding on the day of departure. She was nowhere to be found. We decided to postpone our evacuation, wait her out and go kill some time watching the media circus down by the Wrightsville Beach Drawbridge. Every news networks A team was there from Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel to Dylan Dreyer of NBC Today Show, and even teams from France and Italy. While intrigued by the spectacle, I missed the text from my good buddy and local ripper Joe Cheshire to meet him at his boat in 10 minutes. By this time, 20 minutes had passed and now the ship had sailed. This was the first downer of the storm event.  

Later that afternoon Cheshire informed me that I missed some of the best overhead green waves ever seen on the barrier island. As I became outlandishly depressed by this information and angry with myself for dropping the ball and paying attention to the glam of media, my cat had still not shown up pilling on to my mental stress. Meanwhile, with tropical breezes moving through the trees the children played calmly duck goose under the famous neighborhood pecan tree. With 2 hours remaining until our deadline to leave, we searched for the feline. She was still missing. As the clock counted down, our fate was clear. We would not abandon Bathsheba and we would stay. Resolute as we began to unpack the car, I looked at my wife and said, “Now I’m so grateful that you got us prepared to stay.” Later that night after the family went to bed I was waiting up for them and not giving up hope. The winds began to increase (50mph 12:30 am) and now with 5 hrs until the eyewall was expected to make landfall. As I searched the yard in the battering elements, all I could think of was how crazy powerful the energy in the air was, it was pulsating. Then finally, Bathsheba the cat appeared! Relieved and full of accomplishment, I snatched her up and got her inside. With Stage One of the drama at its end, I was off to bed full of hubris and confidence with no idea as to the power of what was about to hit… and hit it did.

Stage 2: ‘The Impact’

At 5:30 am, I sprung from bed, rattled by the howl of winds ripping through the 50’ tall trees outside our family home. Never had I heard winds like this. “So, this is what a hurricane feels like,” I thought nervously as I stared at my kids Nealie (6), Dax (4), and wife Cornelia, who were all sleeping peacefully on the first floor of our tiny two-story home. We were all here because I felt it was the safest place with the overhead load-bearing beams above. It was still pre-dawn, black and then…BOOM! Glass shatters, the house shakes, Cornelia pops up, “SEAN!!! what was that, are you ok!?!?!? Still seated on the couch, eyes wide, I look up and I am so happy to see the house has not collapsed in the shaking. “Yes!! I am fine!!,” I respond through the powerless darkness and driving winds blowing so hard they were loud in the house. We both snatched the children up and moved our situation to the stairwell. The kids woke up wondering what was going on and we

Looting as reported by WECT.

told them that this was what the hurricane was going to be like and just to stay calm. Surprisingly, they did as instructed. That is until we started hearing the dripping. Now, in the 9 am hour, I still hadn’t emerged outside to assess what happened. The storm was just too terrible.  In the morning light, I could look out the window and see the family car was crushed by that precious 100-foot neighborhood pecan tree, the same one the children were playing under hours before. As we were in the thick of the storm and tightly boarded up I did not want to emerge from the home and inspect, but I did leave the safe area and checked my son Dax’s room where I found a branch piercing the ceiling. We had major roof damage that needed to be dealt with. As I was uninitiated to this type of event, I had no idea how to solve the immediate problem. Now I knew why there were so many tarps for sale at Home Depot the day before. Now I wish I bout a few. Over the course of time, the extreme dripping spread and turned into flowing streams from above collapsing the ceiling and ruining everything below.

Public art by EDA Surf turns hurricane debris. Photo: Dave Baker WBOR.

At this point, Hurricane Florence then proceeded to stall and dump (as expected) 3 feet of water on the area. As the ceiling fell in and AC pumped out of the window unit fueled by our brand new generator, (and with ample supplies of gas) I looked at Cornelia and said, “ I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now, and I thank you again for getting us prepared.” It was the truth and I meant every word. Now, the uninitiated might say that this was a terrible idea, as did so many people from around the country called me to say so. But as I told them, to experience nature in its’ full fury and then to survive, taps into the elemental essences of what it means to be alive. Going into Hurricane Florence I did not intend to stay, but because my wife is a seasoned hurricane survivor, she knew what we needed to do to weather the storm. Now, like anything in life, if you’re not prepared when the storm comes it can destroy you. Life lesson learned from stage 2 – always be prepared.

Stage 3: ‘The Recovery’

If “The Tweak” was useful, and “The Impact” powerful, “The Recovery” was just downright inspiring. People helping people would become the hallmark of the Hurricane Florence event. 48 hours after the tree hit and tornadoes were less present, I strapped on my Hurricane helmet and left the house to assess damages. Our house was barely recognizable, as it was completely covered by trees. Dax looked out the door and said, “ Daddy, this is just like Jurassic World.” As the ceiling had already caved-in, I knew the tree had pierced the roof, but didn’t know my next move. I sprinted to my neighbor Greg Kokoski’s house for consultation. He had sent his family out of town but needed to stay for work. I also knew that on a 1-10 scale of preparedness he was going to be about at an 11.  After recapping the previous 48 hours, and being a novice to this drama, I asked for advice as to what to do. As I looked around his spotless garage packed with organized supplies Greg asked,

 “What size tarp do you think you need…?” Whipping out stacks of unused packed tarps in various sizes, with ignorance I replied, “I don’t know? T

‘Port City Proud’ founders Tegan Harmon, Josh Gore, Kelly White, and Drew Salley

he big one….” After wading through the swamp separating our yards, we arrived on the scene and Greg said calmly, “Uh, ya… I will be back in a second with my chainsaw.” And in less than five minutes with sheets of rain falling he was on my slick roof ripping through piercing limbs and before I could say “Greg You’re The MAN!!,” he had patched and sealed 3 large holes. “Sean we will take care of the rest of this thing when the storm passes,” he said walking down the ladder. 48 hours and another foot of rain later, Hurricane Florence did pass. And in its wake, displacing thousands of people and killing 48. Four days without cell phone coverage and news sent us to the Stone Age. We had no idea the extent of the situation around town. The water public utility was urging residents to fill up bathtubs and containers in case water was cut. Power was not expected to come on for another 10 days and as expected, all roads leading into the city of Wilmington were flooded and impassable. Food and especially as we’re running low and difficult to attain. If a gas station could be found with gas, you could count on a three-hour line to get a maximum limit of 20 gallons. News footage showed open looting downtown. It felt like society was on the brink of collapse. Then, I heard a knock at the door. Familiar faces from the community were in my driveway with chainsaws. Pleasantly surprised I said, “My dudes, I’m so glad to see you’re out doing some side work, I would love to support you instead of these out of town tree guys…how much do you want to take the tree away?” Tegan Harmon, Josh Gore, Kelly White, and Drew Salley looked at each other smiled and Tegan said, “ Sean we don’t want anything. We are here to help.” They said they called the selves ‘Port City Proud’ (PCP) and their mission is one of Community support during post-disaster recovery. They then proceeded to solve my family’s personal traumatic situation bringing metaphorical sunshine to a really cloudy day. When they were done, they wished me good luck and went on to the next house. In the days since stories like this became the norm, neighbors helping neighbors. Those with something to offer, giving it away to those in need. At the end, when the ‘real’ became known,  the tales of looting proved to be isolated overblown incidences. The true villain became the black mold that takes over immediately after you have water damage.

The Ruttky family’s first hot meal in 7 days as shown by WRAL.

As the clean up continues and is proving to be long and hard we can report from Wilmington North Carolina that this natural disaster has brought the community together and we will be stronger for it. To strengthen the community further PCP will be hosting a donation drive at Jimmy’s in Wrightsville Beach this coming Monday from 5-9pm.  Stop in to donate and for some good community fellowship. If you can not make it to the beach and still want to donate follow PCP on Facebook and give back that way. Every bit makes a difference and will contribute to rebuilding this world-class community.


– Sean Ruttkay / EDA Surf Art 

Winner of WRV Surfboard Art by EDA Surf Art.

Once every year, Pro-Am  Surf Fest brings area pro surfers to Wrightsville Beach, NC.  During this 4 day period, the beach is electric with activity. This year, Red Bull called on EDA Surf Art to perform at the annual ‘Art in the Park’. They would provide the wave riding vehicle on which I would create art over the course of 3 hours. I wanted to create a mixed media piece, collaging surfing and environmental imagery, along with paint.  It would be interwoven by a common theme: ‘nature and its realities.’ The day came and unexpected weather blew in with 20 to 25 mph winds out of the southeast. The materials and surfboard were flying off the easel, but I felt the need to flow with nature. The wind blew, production began, and the final product was well received. The finished product represents 25 EDA Surf Art pieces, cut and interwoven into abstract expressionism. From animal life and waveforms to symbols of finance and marketing, this work represents modern surf life in 2018.  In the end, the board was auctioned off to a member of the public attending the event. Oddly enough, the successful bidder was the wife of an art teacher whose class I spoke to last year. Red Bull is requesting more partnerships with EDA Surf Art. Stay tuned.

– Sean Ruttkay

The final EDA Surf Art product in partnership with Red Bull Organics and Wave Riding Vehicle Surfboards.


Noriko is on holiday from Japan and knew he could not leave America without stopping in the EDA Surf Art Studio (aka Dropletland ). He picked “Heavy Water” because of the visual meditator of the piece and he could fit it in his suitcase. 

In it, he saw turbulence above and tranquility below apparently a very strong zen concept, or so said his translator sister Chiemi. Their mother Junichi was also in the house and was blown away by my Subaru Outback.  She started taking pictures of it… I asked Chiemi, can you please explain and she said her mom goes snowboarding once a week with her best friend and she has a Subaru exactly like it.It was at this point I became blown away. When the east meets the west in Dropletland it makes for epic cultural times!! I think I should visit them soon… Till then you should come and visit us here in North Carolina.  Contact us today and schedule your appointment below.  We guarantee you will be stoked!

– Sean Ruttkay / @edasurf 


Studio Vist


“You are now in the hands of the starter.” Then the siren sounds and you are off! In the hunt for oceanic glory and power, there is an elite class of beach lifeguards that challenge their lifesaving skills in mind and body through competition. Last week I had the honor to compete for Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue in the 2017 South Atlantic Regional Lifeguard Championships in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Here, over 200 beach lifeguards from every ocean rescue organization from Virginia Beach, VA to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL converged on 200 yards of beach strand to compete in lifesaving related events, including swimming, running, surf skiing, and rescue paddle boarding. These disciplines were broken into 12 individual and team events staggered over a two-day period.  

2017 Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Competition

The 2017 Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Competition Team. Top left to right: Sean Ruttkay, Jack DeVries, Luke Hammond, Seamus Donahue, Will Owens, Michel Heijnen. Bottom left to right: Mo Peacock. Thalia Harrison, Ana Fish, Kayra DeMarte, Kristi Falco, Hunter Hay.

Of these 12 grueling endeavors, my personal favorite was the Open Men’s International Ironman event, an intense endurance event which consists of a 600-yard paddle, followed by a 400-yard swim, a 1000 yard surf-ski (like a skinny boat), and finally a 200-yard beach sprint. This epic event is always saved for the end of the two-day competition to ensure that all the competitors are exhausted and fully gassed. To add to the exhaustion, the surf was 4-6 ft. (head high) which added many new layers of uncertainty due to the increased chance that competitors could get blasted by the surf on the way out or gain a significant lead by catching swells on the way into the beach. This swell variable graced the haul of my surf ski during this very event this year and it was one of the coolest moments of my life. Way out the back, as I turned the apex buoy, I began to feel the slight lift of the stern and then knew I was tapping into a ground swell. Feeling the energy take hold I began to paddle with intense speed. Then, synergy was gained and my craft lifted and effortlessly glided on the swell in the open ocean 500 yards off shore without a stroke. Completely mesmerized by this phenomenon I began flying past competitors and I almost neglected to realize the last buoy that needed to be turned to my right. Coming back to the realities of course markings, I jammed down the foot pedal sending the ski sharply to the left and dug the paddle on the same side of the wave so not to flip the craft. At speeds consistent with a full 10 sec period swell the fiberglass boat made a slight “bong” sound as it hit and cleared the orange buoy. On course and shocked as to how the race can flow, the ski took one more wave to the beach and gliding through the flags I received sixth place overall out of the thirty some competitors.  

But to the heart, finish place was meaningless. What mattered most was the feeling of complete physical exertion achieved through the medium of the sea. Sure, winning feels good but realizing true glory only comes when the element of water is synthesized with mind and body to achieve extreme physical oceanic pleasure. When this joy is found, the individual taps into a high bliss state.  

The question is then, how can you experience a level of this bliss state? It is of my opinion that all encounters with water have their place on the spectrum of water induced bliss. For example, an individual who is at their office desk and sticks their fingertips in a cup of ice water is low on the spectrum (but still achieving a level of water induced bliss). An individual who may be surfing a 20-foot wave off the coast of France receives a higher level of water induced bliss due to his chosen physical water action. The take-home message being, regardless of the type of water engagement you choose, the more times you can interact with water in a given day, the better your chances of achieving a blissful state and thus a happier life. So remember…engage water in your physical world, then ‘Water the Wall’.

– Ruttkay / @edasurf