#myLOTW series 5: A forgotten face defining a lifetime
Image by @basesurflodge_nqy
So far, our eyes have been opened to so many stories of passion and sheer joy that comes from our favourite action sports. And this devotion to riding has been nurtured and nourished by kin and icons alike.
But this time we are introduced to a legend of the wayside who was once forgotten.
Image by @katforpeace
Chris Burton (and no, he's not related to Jake) is a photographer, videographer and bodyboarding holiday expert, knowing the greatest locations on the planet to take his excitable and eager clients. His story is different from all the others.
Even though he didn't grow up in a part of the UK best known for it's snow-capped mountains or consistent surf, Chris is a perfect example of how boardsports can fuel a childlike enthusiasm and determination into adult life.
Inadvertently his journey into the submersing world of action sports started with a desire to share an experience. Once waiting for his friends to finish work, sitting on the beach in Cornwall, a beach-cleaner gave him a polystyrene bodyboard. Our unnamed beach-cleaner friend must have known the importance and implications of spending time in the ocean - the excitement, the anticipation.
One small action from a chance encounter introduced Chris to the common experience of riding a wave. The forever-searching to recreate a 'feeling' in the water, on the mountain or in the skatepark that keeps us going and binds us into a community of individuals, old and young, who have the commonality of trying to find that flow state, where everything else is blocked out, it's just you and a board.
And it wasn't just an act of kindness from a stranger that led Chris to a life of thrill-seeking and globe trotting, but of one routed with environmental intentions, stopping something apparently unloved and discarded from going into landfill.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Image by @katforpeace
Chris' unadulterated commitment to snowboarding and bodyboarding has stemmed from one tiny action from a forgotten face. It's sparked years of riding, travel, exploration, back-to-back seasons, barrels and many many shakas. Yet it's only in intentional reflection that his legend and unsung hero can be recognised.
Oh how we'd love to find that beach-cleaner right now and shake their hand to thank them for spreading the stoke. We'd love nothing better than to say cheers for sharing our beliefs, in trying as much as we possibly can to sustain a world in which we think twice about what's discarded, and where our beaches show no signs of waste and squander.