Surfing and happiness do go hand in hand. The saying ‘only a surfer knows the feeling’ hits the nail on the head and we love nothing more than spending time in the ocean to keep our minds and bodies healthy and happy.

However over our long enforced break from surfing things can go either way, it can make you even keener for surfing but sometimes your love of surfing can fade, for a whole range of reasons. Be it fear of failure, fear of the waves or even pressure to surf as well as you did before the lockdown. Whatever it is, if you feel like you’ve fallen out of love with surfing, try these 5 steps to ease your way back into surfing and see how you get on! Remember surfing is meant to be fun to start enjoying it again.

Step 1: Remove the pressure

When we refer to pressure we are talking about the pressure that we all put on ourselves. The pressures to surf our best all the time, or to not wipeout and fall off. Often we set unrealistic goals that simply do not need to be set. It is ok to take small steps with your surfing and not to progress every time you surf. By removing these pressures you can begin to enjoy surfing and again. If you have no plans to try and make it onto the world tour then just enjoy surfing for what it is, a fun free sport that keeps your mind, body and soul happy. Chuck out your surfing check list and just go ride ride the waves. The happiest surfers really are the best.

Step 2: Surf with someone you love

Surfing with people who make you smile make riding waves all the more better. Find someone who will cheer you on, laugh with you at your wipeouts and understand when you get a little scared of the bigger sets. Avoid people who pressure you, judge or do not understand your level of surfing. There’s no time for bad vibes in the water, find someone who shares your stoke and make them your new surf buddy.

Step 3: Smile and laugh at your wipeouts

It’s OK to wipe out. Everyone does it and sometimes it is really funny. If you face plant the wave, nose dive on a turn or just fall off for no apparent reason, make sure you always come up smiling. Surfing is meant to be fun and a big part of surfing and progressing in the surf involves wiping out. Learn to embrace the wipeouts, don’t take yourself too seriously and laugh. Even if everyone is watching, break the atmosphere and crack a smile!

Step 4: Be present

Surfing in a beautiful sport, practiced in the most wonderful environments, so make sure you enjoy these moments. Be present in your mind and body. Enjoy the simple pleasure of feeling the sea breeze on your skin and the water around your body. Look around and soak it all in, these are the moments that you will forever cherish. Don’t let fear of failure stop you enjoying the surf.

Step 5: Reward the small steps

If you get to your feet with out using your knees, if you drop on with out falling off or finally complete a full cut back, reward it! Praise your small steps and celebrate your progression. It’s ok to be proud of yourself and be stoked at something you’ve done in the surf. There is no shame in throwing a little fist pump and acknowledging something rad, even if to some it may seem small, to you it’s a big step so be proud of you achievements.

For surfing hints and tips check out the inspiring Surf Girl Handbook

Top photo courtesy Checkered Photography
All other photos courtesy Megan Hemsworth