There are a lot of people out there who have caught onto this sport called surfing, and it has gone from being something just for beach bums to a favourite for businessman, housewives and everyone in between. Well to call it a sport is a topic of conversation for an entirely different article!
So, to get back to the point, for some people out there like myself who learned to surf before I can remember there were no real nerves or ‘concerns’ about learning, but my dad did help me out with a push. Surfing has come a long way since then, especially the learning process, and this has opened surfing up to your average joe to give it a try. Surfing really is for everyone, whether you are at the beach for a weekend, want to learn something new on your gap year, are looking for a career break, just moved to the coast, or in a lot of cases lived next to it all your life but never tried it! From three years old to the oldest I personally have taught being 76, you don’t know until you go.
Your first choice is surf lesson or no surf lesson. I met someone last week that had snowboarded since he was eight, and being away from the snow he decided to give surfing a go. With all his boarding experience he thought it would be easy, borrowed his friends’ board and went out there to surf. Within half an hour his board had knocked his head and he was on the way to hospital to get 8 stitches. Don’t let this put you off surfing, it is more just to say that it is worth taking a lesson to learn to surf. Both to learn how to be safe and to massively improve your learning curve.
Surfing is not easy! Yes I know, when you watch the videos and see the photos it looks so graceful and easy and it makes you think you could do that easily, but you can’t. It is difficult to lie on a board, difficult to paddle a board, difficult to catch a wave, difficult to stand on a wave and difficult to keep your balance! So now why do it? Because it’s cool! The thrill and excitement, we call it ‘stoke’ of riding a wave surpasses any other feeling to such an extent that it becomes addictive and you just want more! Whether it is someone riding lying down for the first time, standing, getting barrelled or doing an aerial, it is that feeling of stoke that we search for, and find every once in a while.
You as someone learning to surf are lucky, your learning curve is faster and you will meet your next goals much more quickly. 20 years down the line I get stoked every surf, but to feel that same stoke as when you first stand up or ride a clean face, that just pops up every now and again to keep me amped. So go and get a surf lesson, dish up the cash, and enjoy something that may change your life and take you to amazing places like South Africa, Costa Rica, Mozambique or some other far off place in search of the perfect wave.