I love surfing. There are many reasons why I love surfing. One of them is I love surfing for teaching me so many new things. Yes that’s right surfing teaching me things. Without trying to get too philosophical here, my 5 top non-surf skill lessons that have come in handy for every day live too:
1. Ouch, yes I know wipe outs can hurt. Lots of wipe outs can be frustrating. But especially after a big wipe out, I try to catch at least one more wave. Otherwise you’ll end the session with a bitter after taste and it might keep you from getting back into the water for a while. Some of my friends literally stopped surfing. They had a massive wipe out and have been procrastinating since and never actually got back into the water again. Like in real life, better to just face the challenge straight away. Procrastination makes it worse. Lesson learnt: Get back on the horse (aehh board) straight away.
2. Ok, surely you’ve experienced that feeling before: you paddle and paddle and… paddle and try to get back to the line-up…but you are actually not moving because you are just stuck in the bloody whitewater. Happens to the best of us. It took me quite a few of these disheartening experiences but eventually I got it. It makes sense to just stop for a sec and evaluate your other options. You might just want to get out of the water and paddle back in through the rip or you discover that you’ve been paddling right next to the rip for 10 min anyway… a little shift to the left and voila you are out there. Lesson learnt: The most direct way might not be the best way.
3. Yes, yes I know especially gidgets are known to be great multitaskers and we can do two things at once. But I get easily distracted and nothing worse than missing the big set on the horizon that’s about to clean up the line up while you are chatting to your mate. I broke my nose that way (no kidding). It was not even a big set. It was actually more embarrassing than that. I was walking (!) into the water chatting to my friend not paying attention to what my board was doing. It was about to smash my face when a bit of whitewash came in. Ooopsies. Lesson learnt: Focus.
4. Picture that, a nice wave coming in… you are in the perfect position. No one on the inside. The wave has your name on it. You paddle for it. You take off. It’s walling up perfectly and you see yourself flying along the wall but… oh noooooo…no instead you are sent flying over the falls. Frustrating. Annoying. Very much so. But you are not doing yourself a favor by holding onto that anger. All you do is fuck up the next wave you are about to catch. Lesson learnt: Shit happens. Move on.
5. One of my favourites. Imagine you are in the line up and you see this massive set rolling in. You know you are in the wrongest spot you can be and you are not going to make it. Is it going to break on top of your head or on your back? Is it really going to hurt? Am I going to eat sand? In the face of the inevitable, you can do two things: 1. Panic: Panic before you know it’s going to hit you. Panic when it hits you. Panic even more once you when you think you are in a washing machine and eat sand and maybe drown because you run out of breath while you are panicking. I personally prefer option which is 2. Hold onto your board for life and try to stay cool: Ok easier said than done if it’s a massive wave but the best thing you can do in the washing machine situation is go with the flow and relax till it’s over (but remember don’t forget to hold onto the board while you are all cool). And you’ll always get to the top sooner or later -a bit faster if you are still attached to the board (hence the cling onto the board tip). You only waste your breath if you panic. So you may as well just take that lesson with you and: Relax.
Actually, I could come up with another 10 lessons but I won’t be able to get up for a surf in the morning if I stay up all night writing smart a… advice. Good night gidgets. Stay tuned for other lessons to be continued another time…