As a young adult, it’s hard sometimes to shred your pride and try something new..
Do you remember being a kid and learning a sport or hobby and getting the hang of it almost instantly? Having no fear, feeling invincible, and of course that inability to hurt yourself because you could bounce off anything with a bendy body that’s pretty much made of rubber. Learning a new skill can be daunting. It kinda sucks to be a novice.. especially when you want to look like you know what you're doing.
One sport that will make you feel just as much frustrated as accomplished is surfing. Surfing is great for the soul! It makes you appreciate our beautiful planet. Have you ever kept track of the tides, the wind, the exact time the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening? Surfing will keep you well in tune with this. Surfing is that it is a low impact sport so your body is not going to be in any type of sudden physical contact. You’ll still be able to bounce back like you did when you were a seven year old.
Here are some reasons why you should get out there and give surfing a go.
#1 The feeling you get when you first stand up is pretty amazing. Even if its just for a second it’s still an accomplishment. Whether you pop up on your first try or it takes you a couple of goes, it really is pure happiness that will leave you wanting more and more. You’ll be amazed at the ocean and your inborn connection to it from gliding along a wave. You might feel like you’re making a fool of yourself if you face plant or fall on get the wobbles but every great surfer out there has been there and never regretted that decision to first get in the water.
#2 You’ll be happier! Spending time outside in the sun is unbelievably good for you. In fact the right balance of sun can have some great mood lifting benefits. No matter what season it is your body always needs some vitamin D from the sun. Getting your pale winter face outside can only be good for you as long as you cover up and wear some water resistant sun block. According to heathline low levels of serotonin (which causes happiness) are linked with something called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that’s triggered by the changing of seasons. Without enough time in the sun, your serotonin levels can fall quite easily which makes surfing a good excuse to spend some time outside and keep a smile on your face.
#3.You will gain more friends (maybe some unlikely ones). Sharing a love for something brings people together. So many people of different ages surf. You might make friendly conversation with someone in the water from a completely different culture. Surfer Laird Hamilton once said “we’re all equal before a wave”. When you’re in the water it doesn’t matter who you are, what ethnicity, gender or background is everyone is equal. You could be the CEO of a large company or a student skipping a lecture, everyone is the same and shares a common love.
#4 You’ll learn to be patient because this is a sport that can take a lot of time to get that hang of things. You can get upset and frustrated trying over and over again but once you catch your first green wave you’ll be hooked. Waiting for the perfect wave might also a challenge but taking in the beautiful atmosphere that surrounds you, the colours of the water, the wind in your hair, the birds and other surfers enjoying themselves it will make all that waiting around really pay off. Surfing teaches patience over and over and over again.
5. Fitness! Staying active helps keep you physically fit and exercise also encourages optimum brain functionality. You will without a doubt be constantly moving about your heart rate will be going up and down. Whether you’re standing up or paddling or ducking under a wave you’ll be breathing heaps and using lots muscles (maybe some you haven’t used in awhile). Surfing is a really good way to improve your overall cardiovascular health. What low impact activity keeps your heart rate up for hours and a huge smile on your face?
So no matter your age or fitness level, it shouldn’t be a barrier that will stop you from giving it a go. At 88 years old, Woody Brown longboards four times a week in his home town of Pacifica California and he still calls himself a surfer dude. Gwyn Haslock still surfs in her seventies! And at 30 years old, Devin Maroney a mindfulness meditation teacher stood up on his very first wave. So what are you waiting for? It’s not too late to try something new.