“Surfing is kind of both your worst enemy and best friend. It’s always your priority and, yeah, being a surfer, you can be pretty selfish”
Surfing and selfish don’t really seem like to words that go together, but the balance between general day to day life and catching the swell is one that is hard to find. Being a city dweller, I live approximately 6 hours from the nearest surf-able beach – which is one heck of a drive and a bit of a commitment. This makes surfing a hard old task to balance with commitments and just generally being an adult.
Surfing vs the rest of your life is a hard balance to strike if you are not a coastal dweller, or to be honest sometimes even if you are! The swell is an unpredictable beast and there’s nothing worse than missing a good week of surfing to then be stuck with a flat spell and kicking yourself for not having got yourself wet.
My new policy is if I’m debating going in is, GO THE HELL IN. You just don’t know what the wind or the waves will be saying tomorrow. I’ve had plenty a day where I’ve thought I can’t go in; I need to reply to that email, or I need to do this that and the other, only to wait till evening and the wind has suddenly changed and I’m kicking myself. I think with surfing you have to obtain a seize the day style of mentality, if it’s good go in, no matter what is looming for when you return. Ironically I would say especially if you are a beginner, get out there, and surf as much as possible. Recently I spent 2 weeks down in Hossegor, my favourite place, although I’m still a tad scared of the breaks. The week started with an inane amount of work to do so most days I locked myself away from the sea to get my to do list done. I was scared of the work guilt but finally, re emerging 3 days later with my board and the work completed the swell had gone. I was gutted. Fell in to a surf sulk, why hadn’t I seized the moment?
What I’ve learnt is unless it’s super duper important most things can wait and if you are serious about surfing, you need to make the most of every opportunity to really improve. My other half had jumped in each morning, shutting his laptop and running up the dunes, I on the other hand, got the guilt and worked, only to be then be shunned by the swell. That, is not a mistake I will be making again.
“The best waves and swells ALWAYS coincide with something important in your life. “
Balance is hard and especially with surfing a sport you generally need to travel for, you do end up finding that you miss a lot of key dates, this summer I’ve committed to the swell. If you are serious about surfing you do have to put the hours in so dust yourself off and get your wetsuit on, you just don’t know what the wind will be thinking tomorrow.