With their wetsuit folded halfway at the waist and casually walking along the beach, you may wonder how good surfers’ life would be. Do they live a good life, or is it just another fantasy?
Surfing lifestyle refers to changing or organizing their lives so they can prioritize surfing. Therefore, for some people, it may refer to moving closer to the beach and heading out for a surf before work. For others, it may mean travelling up and down the coast or even different counties to surf better waves.
Let’s look at how a surfer’s life might differ from non-surfers.
Priority Of Surfing Life Style
The life of a surfer may not differ much from everyone else, but surfing comes high on their priority list.
Surfing conditions vary daily, and surfers hate missing out when the condition is good. Therefore dedicated surfers tend to give up other commitments, such as late-night drinking, to be able to surf the next day.
There are reasons why surfers prefer morning surfing. The wind often falls offshore in the morning, making the ocean surface nice and smooth. This is why most surfers try to make the early morning hours available.
However, It’s not limited to when the conditions are good; surfers need to surf regularly to keep their fitness up. Without good fitness, surfers cannot surf well when the condition is good. At a minimum, surfers must keep surfing at least 1-2 times a week to maintain their fitness level.
Why Are Surfers So Obsessed?
Surfers’ obsession with surfing comes from the excitement of riding great waves and good surfing conditions that are challenging to find.
Surfing conditions constantly change, depending on the size and period of the swell, direction and strength of wind, crowd level and season. For example, in Sydney, summer swells tend to be small and somewhat poor quality, whereas autumn and winter oceans provide solid waves with good periods, and crowds tend to thin out little.
Therefore, most surfers check the forecast daily and wait for suitable conditions. Please note that the ‘right’ condition differs from person to person. For example, some people chase 20+ foot waves worldwide, while others are happy with slow-breaking 2-foot waves.
The other reason surfs are obsessed with surfing is the excitement of riding a wave.
When waves get bigger than 3 feet, riding one is a good thrill. Even further, if a wave creates a barrel, it possesses more power and gets very challenging to take off and ride one.
This gives a sense of achievement as well as excitement.
One doctor who works in Emergency Department compared making an 8-foot barrel to saving someone’s life in an Emergency Department. Two things are common: a sense of achievement and being on the edge of something dangerous.
As a surfer, you are constantly learning and improving, especially in the early stage of learning. This improvement and the excitement of riding a wave can be very addictive.
Why Are Surfers So Chill?
Surfers come in all sorts of different personalities. This is a misconception that surfers are more chilled and relaxed. It’s likely built an image based on how they look or the media portrays them. You will likely encounter some friendly people and short-tempered surfers in the lineup.
Surfing, at its core, is a somewhat selfish act. There is no team building or common goal as a team. Only one person is allowed on the wave for pure enjoyment, and frustration may build when there is a limited opportunity.
However, surfing can improve one’s mood. Let’s look at how surfing can make someone happy and relaxed.
Why Are Surfers So Happy?
Surfers are not different from others; there is no evidence that surfers are happier than non-surfers. However, many surfers report surfing lifts their mood.
Here are some reasons
Exercise provides many health benefits, including improving mood and mental health. Surfing offers benefits for both endurance and strengthening exercises.
2. Sense of improvement
As human beings, we all need improvement no matter where we are. Learning to surf provides a sense of progression, and you can keep challenging yourself. For example, every year or so, you tackle more giant waves, and you will not know where the upper limit is.
Most people need a sense of belonging, and surfing can create a community. It’s not limited to surfing clubs or friends you surf with. Any stranger who loves the ocean can build connections and share the same passion.
4. Close to nature
Being inside nature feels special. The serenity and flow while sitting on your board in the ocean give you an intimate connection to nature.
5. Sense of being different from other people.
As much as we need other people to live, we try hard to distinguish ourselves from other people. Surfing is a niche sport; doing something special can make you feel different.
What is Surfer Mentality?
Surfer’s mentality can be viewed as discipline and commitment.
Looking from an outside perspective, surfing may seem like pure fun-seeking activity. However, surfing requires a consistent and lengthy commitment, and no one can have a shortcut.
Some beginner surfers may think they can ride a barrel in a few months. However, reality humbles them quite quickly.
Riding big and steep waves takes years of practice, and the surfers slowly build their competency. This, however, is not a negative aspect of surfing. Many surfers recall their beginner surfing days as the most memorable and fun.
Lastly, when charging for more giant waves, commitment matters. Any hesitancy and pullback will negatively affect the timing. Surfing helped me force myself to go against my instinct and made me braver.
However, we should remember that we do not need to improve our surfing. Most of us will not be professional surfers or may never ride a barrel. That is ok. Sometimes, enjoy surfing as it is.