So I'm about 3/4 of the way through the latest "Special Issue" of Surfer Mag and I think it's one of the best issues I've read in a long time. Lots of stories from the all time greats but there is one article in particular that really hit home. The premise is that "One Ride Can (or cannot) Change Your Life". Now that's a bold claim, but after several of the stories I think it's definitely possible that one ride CAN change your life, be it for good or bad.
If one ride kills ya, yeah, that's a change.
Other than that, IMO, no.
That's one way to look at it, and that's what some said in the article. Some may also say that the 1st "real wave" they ever caught changed their life for the better and that's where their love for surfing began and shaped the entire rest of their lives. I think it's interesting to look at from both perspectives. I believe that even the slightest of decisions in your life, even the ones that seem trivial and small can change the entire course of your life, you may not realize it, but we all end up where we are at today as a result of those many decisions we make a long the way.
Another example would be if you were trying to make it onto the tour and needed a perfect 10 with less than a minute to go and you pull it off, make the tour, and have a highly successful career as a pro surfer for years to come. Without that one ride, you would not have made it, and therefore been still sitting on the outside looking in, no sponsors, no $, no nothing, and possibly your last chance to be in that position again.