It can be difficult to describe the feelings a surfer has in the water. There are high doses of adrenaline when catching a wave, apprehension when getting wiped out, and complete peace when sitting on the board contemplating the nature around. Much more than a sport, surfing is a lifestyle – which brings lessons that go far beyond the sport itself. Learning to surf can be one of the great learnings that someone can have in life, and what you will learn (besides the base of the sport) is deeply connected to life itself. We are pleased to share some of the learnings we had, and still have, with you here:
You need determination and persistence to achieve your goals
Surfing is definitely not easy. Paddling, standing on the board, and being able to drop the first wave are achievements that demand a very reasonable level of effort for those who are starting to surf. It can take a few days, weeks, or even a few months – depending on your fitness and your willingness to overcome these barriers.
You will discover that this arduous start is one of the determining factors that divide those who just want to try surfing from those who want – and dream of – taking it as their sport.
Whether in surfing, in life or your career, you also need to be persistent and determined to achieve your goals – and work hard to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you. Or that opportunity may just pass you by, just like the perfect wave, and we never know when you will have that opportunity again.
Adaptation to changes
In the ocean, you are subject to rapid and sudden changes, which require to adapt fast. Suddenly, the waves can get bigger or smaller, or they can start forming a few meters away from their original position.
When surfing you have to observe, identify what is happening, and adapt quickly to changes. If you are not very aware of what is happening around you, you and your board can literally be swallowed up by the change.
In life is the same, if you are flexible and prepared to deal with changes the chance of success is way higher.
Do not skip the necessary steps for your development
There is no negotiation with nature. That means that if your goal is to surf a 6 or 8-foot wave you have to be prepared for that, physically and mentally. Otherwise, you may not make it out of this challenge undamaged. Thus, you end up quickly learning that you cannot skip steps in your development process. Surfing a 6 or 8-foot wave will require technical, physical, and cardio-respiratory training, and most important, patience. Learning how to surf can be a great and rewarding experience, but entering the ocean with the wrong gear and without being prepared can unravel in a traumatizing one.
Humility and Respect for those who already know the way
When you are in the water, you can have a clear dimension of your size in front of the universe. We, as human beings, tend to think we know everything, but we are still small comparing to the strength of the ocean. Around you, there will be other surfers, many who have been surfing for 10, 20, 30, 40 years. Having the humility to recognize that these “mentors” and “coaches” can help and accelerate your development at sea.
Also, having a real mentor or teacher can be one of the best things for your development. That is why surf lessons are recommended if you are a beginner or intermediate surfer. Teachers and long term surfers have been through ultra-challenging situations there and they can teach the shortcuts for incredible results. Check out Pacific Surf School and how we can help you learn how to surf.
The feeling of surfing your first wave is indescribable. You paddled, stood on the board, and could feel the nature working with you in that amazing experience. At the end of it, with adrenaline rushing in you, it is impossible not to celebrate the excellent wave you have caught. In life, we go through similar processes. We go through problems, we strive for our goals, we achieve what we aim for. But the habit of celebrating achievements is not as frequent as it could or should be. The celebration of surfing a wave even generates shouts of satisfaction (Woohoo !!!!) of so much energy that is flowing through the body. And it is this energy that makes you go back to the sea and surf more and more waves. The achievement of our goals in life can – and should – follow the same principle.