Surfing, Nature, and Spirituality

Bron Taylor

I grew up in Southern California . . . and, as a religion scholar, it didn’t take long to realize that there was a religion-resembling dimension to the practice of surfing. People get up at monastic hours . . . [and as] you’re paddling around or you’re waiting – out in front, you have a great wilderness, and tremendous energetic systems, with waves rolling your way – from back to the Big Bang (if you will). And you have relationships with the dolphins, whales, and so forth that you’re privileged to see.

So there’s kind of a contemplative nature to it. It can get you thinking metaphysically. Where do these waves come from? How these fit in with the energies of the universe?

This is a form of nature spirituality . . .

Video interview (3+ minutes)
Journal article:  “Surfing into Spirituality and a New, Aquatic Nature Religion”  (29 pages)

Bron Taylor is Professor of Religion, Nature, and Environmental Ethics at the University of Florida. He is author of Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future.