A slight shift in focus can feed the soul, especially when that new trajectory leads to surfing some of the heaviest waves in the northern hemisphere. We know Gearoid McDaid's got that competitive streak in him, see here. But the Irishman also has this innate desire to throw himself over (and under) thick-lipped mounds of emerald-coloured water.
The competitive grind isn't for everyone. The long days, heats in tough conditions, the yield sometimes not worth the reward. For the only Irishman competing on the QS, it's a way of life and training in a variety of conditions is the only way to push personal progression.