Chris Burkard on the Struggles of the Surf, Life, Work Balance

One of the world’s most celebrated surf photographers Chris Burkard recently opened up on his instagram account about the struggles he has faced balancing his work and his relationships. We think they will resonate with many, both inside and out of the surf industry, and in this digital age of constant insta-envy are very much worth sharing:

“Everything comes at a cost. It’s not a secret that at times in my life I have put work first. I’ve even used the word “workaholic” to describe myself . I’ve often tried to make sense of my need to continually create art & travel. The desire to always be busy. It goes beyond passion & often the need to make a living. It’s in many ways a defense mechanism for dealing with harder things. Adjusting to the fact that I chose my career over friends at a young age & lost touch with people that meant a lot to me. The feelings of being an inadequate father since I didn’t know mine. I burnt bridges & in some ways during the process of traveling lost who I was hoping that if I looked deep enough & traveled far enough I would find myself again. This isn’t fun to write. It hurts to think about. All along I have had this feeling that maybe I could work my way out of it all… that all it would take is a little more effort.. so I kept pushing. And If I got to a certain point.. a certain level.. maybe I would end up with a fresh start.

So why share this ? Well Is everything on social media meant to be picture perfect? What is joy without pain. What have I learned? Maybe nothing. I struggle with this every time I step onto a plane or grab my packed bags by the door. I’m learning more & more how to find balance & separation between work and life. Constantly trying to decide internally what my intentions are.. Am I running from something or am I going to bring back something worthwhile. If everything you experience…everything you internalize and feel way out there in the world isn’t shared with those you love then who does it serve? If you choose this path as a career. These are questions you might want to ask yourself. You might want to consider what you really hope to find.. out there.”

Cover photo by Chris Burkard. 

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