The deep valley of frustration surfing
I think every one of us knows this! On a day surfing you feel like Poseidon himself, surfing yourself into a state of ultimate flow. And the next day, the ocean puts you back in your place and literally spits you back out onto the beach. But it is exactly this fact that makes surfing so unique. It is one of the most complex sports and perfection is a status that is never achieved. Especially not if, like most of us, we didn’t grow up by the ocean and started surfing in childhood.
So where does all this lead us, if we have no chance to celebrate world successes in this sport or to be awarded as sportsman of the year one day?
It is solely about the pure, only for yourself, feeling of happiness!
You do this sport only for yourself and you don’t have to prove to anyone how good you are at it. Surfing is fun from the first minute and it never stops until you stop. It can become a “lifelong journey”, full of travels, adventures and advice for life itself.
Only we surfers ourselves are sometimes in the way. Born in a meritocracy, we now want to dedicate ourselves to the project of surfing. We calculate about 1-3 years for it to get really good at it. Then you should actually be able to surf such a short toothpick-like projectile in the form of a shortboard, like the pros do in the magazines and videos. If that doesn’t work, you should have stood in a tube at least once, as this is supposed to be the ultimate feeling. But why actually? Try to see surfing as a game of patience with yourself!
Every day the ocean presents us with a new playing field. We have to accept it and learn to play with it. Sometimes it is easy and light, sometimes uneven and uncontrollable. Nevertheless, you learn from it every time. And after years of experience, there are fewer and fewer surprises and you always have fun, no matter how good the pitch is.
Especially in the early years, it’s all too easy to blame your perceived lack of athletic progress on bad conditions or poor equipment. Often the waves are not clean enough or too steep, but then again too shallow to get in. Sometimes the boards are too long to dive through the waves. But then again too short to catch waves.
I hear all these phrases from time to time as a surf instructor. The more experienced a surfer becomes, the less you hear them from him. You become more reflective and tend to look for the faults in yourself. There are always areas to improve in surfing. Be it body control or technique, machmal overview and ocean experience.
The only important thing is to accept to take your time with surfing. You have to learn this sport without being dogged and ambitious. The sheer will to want to practice this sport, no matter what, is enough to become a surfer! It doesn’t matter how good you ended up being, because it never mattered anyway. For some, it’s Final a Takeoff, Parallel Ride, Tuberide or Arial Reverse! The main thing is to surf and experience those moments of bliss.
So go into the ocean! Now!
Until next time on Pete’s Surf Diaries….