"Courage is grace under pressure” – Hemmingway
What we call style is a manifestation of this quote. To have style one must in the face of the harsh glare of uncertainty about the self and its relation to the group stand firm as the solitary matador of which Hemmingway speaks. The individual must be bold enough to set his or her own course to be something apart from the onslaught of sameness. The belief in the self is the meat of courage. This is what sets the purveyors of style apart from the folks who have other things to do.
Before there was a machine to sell us goods there was the idea that we liked things amazing people did. We love us some excellence with no perceived effort. Isn’t that what style is all about? Prowess is rewarded and prowess with style is immortalized. Just go ask Tony Alva.
One of the big things when I was snowboarding was to always be in control of your arms. No flapping them around at all and no wild motions of any kind. Your upper body was to remain calm and silent while riding as fast as you possibly could. That was style back then and it remains so today in all board sports.
Lets think about that real quick. With all that is happening to your senses as you rocket down a mountain or a wave face style requests of us a calm space to emerge. Style is a quiet art. You find it by relaxing into the moment and the courage to be present allows style to emerge. That is grace under pressure in action. The matador spins while the horns glide by just an eyelash away and we as the audience collectively think what a straight badass stands calmly before us. What style. Toro Toro!!