Incredible thoughts with Kurt: Raising stoke when you’re down


Kurt Zontek, Contributing Reporter

What up reading homies! Welcome to the third episode of the Incredible Thoughts column! This week I had planned on going deep analyzing the stoke of the Bobby Tarantino II intro, however, I’ll have to push that back a week because this week it’s all about raising stoke! Have you ever had one of those days where your stoke tank is stuck on empty and you couldn’t find a gas station that sold stoke? If so you should probably read the rest of this column!


Stoke maintenance is possibly the most important responsibility we owe ourselves. If we aren’t stoked life is difficult as.* Stoke can be dropped to the basement pretty easily; all it takes is some frustration and anxiety to drop it down the stairs. The most common stoke thief in my life is homework. When it builds up I feel like I’m pinned beneath a mountain of overwhelming papers and books. It really just puts me in a bad headspace. Lately, I’ve found that when I lose my stoke I have two options; I can either stay frustrated and keep myself trapped beneath the mountain by staying in my chair wanting to scream my head off, or I can use my frustration to push my body to its limits and raise my stoke in the process.


Option number two is always the one that fills the stoke tank! There’s nothing to motivate you to push yourself as hard as you can than a good old fashion eff-the-world mentality. It’s been the times where I’m frustrated to the point that I’m in a funk for days that I’ve had some of my best flat water sprint sessions and long runs.


The physical aspect of pushing your body leaves your mind free to think almost automatically. My mind is always clear after a sick run or paddling sesh. Another reason working out helps raise stoke is the release of endorphins that happens in your brain when you exercise. Endorphins reduce the perception of pain and also stimulate a positive feeling in the body and mind. It’s sick!


Okay, stokers, I’m gonna call it good here. If you need more advice on raising and maintaining stoke I should be writing this every week! Until then stay stoked!




*This is the first time I’ve ever used a footnote but I write how I talk so I’m supposed to explain that ‘as’ as used in the sentence with the footnote is a way to add emphasis that also sounds chill. It’s mostly used by kayakers I guess and it’s something I say constantly. Here’s an example: “Right now I’m stoked as!”