It is the fountain of youth. And the beauty of mother ocean, and all the cool things you see out there. Plus the feeling...it's like flying when you're zipping past people and rocks and over reef and past jetties, and you know if you eat it, it will hurt, but you somehow pull it off, like Slater at Backdoor (in your mind), and the crowd goes nuts! And the feeling you get as you exit the ocean after a session, like being reborn. Other that that, surfing has ruined my life.
I could go on for days about why I surf but instead I'll just put it like this. If I lost everything, money, family, friends, whatever anything. As long as I could still surf I would be ok. I'd still have something to live for.
I like the ffffpppppptt sound of the spray falling behind a wave. I like the view of the calm water surface from below as I come up from a duck dive. The feeling of raindrops on the soles of my feet. The muted sound of a snowfall. The long walk back from the places my friends won't go. The color and glow of the wave face as the sun shines through.
I like the the momentary lapse of reason during a ride when I don't think about anything. I like the sunrises. The sunsets. The glide and slide. The girls in bikinis. I like the idea that I'm harnessing energy that has traveled thousands of miles. The little inputs to trim a longboard on a long wall. The sway of sea grass and jetties. The feeling of being horizontal, punching through the back of the wave but feeling my feet still planted firmly on the board.
I like watching raindrops bounce up into the air during a downpour. Seeing someone else get a nugget. The feeling of the g-force of a steep bottom turn. The weightlessness of a re-entry. Diving deep under a breaking wave only to find calmness and peace. And sitting for hours in the parking lot bullshatting about nothing.
I like the pelicans, seals, bunker, dolphins, and tiny jellyfish that get stuck between my fingers as I paddle. Most of all it feels good and makes me a better person. And of course, I like the view from the occasional private little coverup and the opening at the end which leads to more waves.
What bums me out is that I get blank stares when I explain these things to friends and coworkers who don't surf. So the only answer is to surf more to feel better about that. It works.