Summer is coming and along with it the much longed-for summer holiday. You might even be one of the lucky ones who can look forward to a long summer break from university. In both cases it is already clear though – summer time is travel time. Throughout Europe you can rely on a wonderful climate and thanks to our cheap airline culture all European highlights are booked in no time at all.
But what if this time you’re not after a pool holiday, beach hangouts or a strenuous city and sightseeing trip?
Then surfing is the perfect alternative for you if you want to try something new this summer. It’s not easy to stay longer on the board at first – but learning is even more fun if you bring a little motivation and self-discipline.
Here are 6 reasons why learning to surf this summer is just right for you.
Number 1 – Live the moment!
Our lives are determined by our jobs, schedules, plans and commitments. Okay, that sounds a bit hard and much of it we are not necessarily aware of to this extent. That’s good! However, in today’s stressful time we lose perception for the moment, for the present. In our heads we are always one step ahead joggling worries, plans and expectations.
Doing so is not possible while surfing. Here you can only function in the current moment. Your attention and your senses are sharpened for everything that happens.
While in the water every wave is different, the tides change constantly and so do the currents and wave sizes. When you are not surfing (or trying to surf on a wave), you as a surfer are always busy observing the ocean to react to it. Surfing is your mental break from everyday life.
Number 2 – As a surfer you get to see the most beautiful places in the world
Once you’re fixed and have your first successes on the board, surfing is your ticket into the world. Surfers are always on the lookout for the perfect wave. This way your desire to travel is not neglected when surfing. From Asia to Australia, South America, Sri Lanka and Hawaii – everywhere you go you’ll find places with beautiful beaches to surf and explore with new cultures.
If it doesn’t drive you too far away, rest assured: Europe’s Atlantic coast is blessed with numerous world-class waves. How about learning to surf in Portugal, for example?
Number 3 – getting high and happy with the most legal drug in the world: surfing
There is hardly a feeling that can be compared to surfing and the well-known saying “only a surfer knows the feeling” can make you curious about what’s so great about surfing. Although surfers get physically quite exhausted during a surf session they still come out of the water looking very satisfied and with a broad grin.
Why is that? Well, your brain releases a chemical cocktail of adrenaline, dopamine and endorphins with every wave: your heartbeat is accelerated and the satisfying dopamine kicks into your blood because you’re experiencing something great. The happiness hormones endorphin and serotonin make you feel happy and cheerful. You are enthusiastic and wonderfully rewarded for all the paddling. You will quickly realize that you need more of this: you are officially “stoked”! The best thing about it is that your stoke will last long after surfing.
Number 4 – Surfing makes you fit
Surfing is a perfect whole body workout where you build up and define muscles and train endurance and agility. The great thing about it is that it happens automatically and as a side effect, because you don’t go surfing to train your body, but first and foremost to ride waves and get your stoke. Already when paddling out you notice where your back, arms and shoulders are being used. On the board you train your balance, because such a ride on the wave does not work without body tension and balance. Be sure to feel each muscle individually the next day. You can read here in our blog post how you can get fit for your surfing holiday in order to get the best out of your trip.
Number 5 – You get to meet new people super fast
As a matter of fact: surfing is not a team sport. You are alone with yourself, the board and the full energy of the ocean. But the nice thing is that surfing and the stoke of surfing unite. With a good attitude in the line-up, you can quickly get into conversations with others, when paddling out or back together anyway. After surfing, you can have a well-deserved beer at the local beach bar and socialize about waves, wipe-outs and tides. Surfers are generally relaxed and so first acquaintances already start with paddling out.
There is surfing all over the world and as mentioned above, surfers are always looking for the perfect wave – so you meet people from all over the world.
Especially if you learn surfing in a surf camp, you will grow quickly together with the group through the shared experience. It’s not uncommon for you to start a long and strong friendship here.
Number 6 – You are one with nature
“Nature is a healer”
So they say and also science proves that the power and the energy of the ocean have a healing effect on soul & spirit. Hardly any other element is as appealing as water. No wonder, since we ourselves consist of more than 70% water. A natural, so to speak innate feeling of connection with water is then only obvious.
In addition there is the magical interplay of nature, on which we as surfers are dependent – the state of the tides and thus the effect of the moon, the influence of the wind and the currents. And you are right in the middle – as a part of the whole.
Well, if it isn’t for the right reasons, this summer you might dare to get on the board! Okay – it is quite possible that you hesitate. Surfing seems dangerous and daring and especially when you listen to some conversations you hear one or the other horror story of horrible wipe-outs and washes, bruises and head injuries. Yes, surfing carries one or the other risk. But, most importantly, these risks can be avoided and if not, at least minimized enormously. Unfortunately, many surfers and beginners overestimate themselves.
But you don’t! Respect for Mother Nature protects you from many things. So don’t go out if it’s clearly above your comfort size or if you feel unfit. Surf spots with stony bottom only if there is enough water between you and the reef, and especially when you are ready. Don’t panic when washing, because if you stay calm your breath will always be enough to get back to the surface. Always keep an eye on your surroundings and other surfers. All these things are important when learning to surf. A good surf school or a surf camp will teach you to surf 1×1 from the beginning – for example the Da Silva surf camp in Portugal.