15 Feb 6 LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM SURFING
Us surfers: we dream, eat and sleep thinking about it. We go mad when there are no waves and get thrilled when it’s pumping, like nothing else matters. We share ideals and more importantly, a lifestyle.
Only the surfer knows the feeling. You might have heard this before and it certainly sounds too much like a cliché to believe it, but don’t underestimate the truth behind it. Surfers might try to explain but only those who surf truly understand it.
The truth is that there’s much more than catching waves in this sport, and we want to share some surfing wisdom that may help lead one to a better understanding of life:
1. You won’t catch a wave by staring at it
If you surf, you probably know this one by heart. If you don’t make an actual effort to catch the waves, they won’t magically come to you, and even if they do, there will always be someone better positioned than us who will catch them. We can translate this truth to other aspects in life: It could be a job, or a relationship, or anything else you want to get in your life… If you don’t make any effort to get the opportunities you hope to “ride” in life, they will pass underneath you or come down crashing hard.
2. You won’t be remembered for your wipeouts
No, you won’t. When we enter the water we may feel like everyone is looking at us and is judging every move we do, but the truth is that no one will come to us after surfing and remind us of that wave we lost or that time we fell. But, in fact, if we manage to catch a good one, the only thing people will remember is that perfect ride and the more waves we try, the more we will catch.
That’s an important value we can take into our life. Sometimes we are afraid for what people will think about us and we don’t take risks, but most of the time we are completely wrong. Go out there and try as many times as you can until you complete your goals!
3. Celebrate every small victory
Surfing is one of those sports that requires a lot of time and a lot, a loooot of effort. You cannot expect to be surfing like a pro in your first week, not even in your first year, but you can enjoy every part of the process from standing up in your first whitewash to getting barreled or making an incredible maneuver. The same happens in life, blinded with the final result, we tend to ignore every small victory we make on our way to achieve something.
Nothing you do in surfing or in life is a waste of time, every time you get out there you learn something.
4. There’s just one earth, we should take care of it
We surfers spend hours and hours in the water and the ocean becomes home to us. Everyone enjoys a clean beach and ocean but if you only go there one season a year it becomes easier to disconnect or not grab that piece of plastic you stumble upon when at the beach. As our home all year long, surfers have taken the broom and apron just like a housekeeper would when it comes to maintaining our homes in a clean and good state. We strive for beautiful, clean waters to relax and get some good waves, so we take care of it from the heart.
5. It’s scientifically proven to make you happier
Ok, this is not a life lesson, but it is a fact, surfing makes you happier, and even better, its scientifically proven!
“The turbulence created by breaking waves alters the physical structure of the air and water, breaking apart water and air molecules and releasing charged ions* into the atmosphere. On their eternal quest for perfect waves surfers inevitably encounter this altered atmospheric state.
Some scientists are convinced this abundance of negative ions has a positive effect on mood by triggering the release of endorphins and serotonin – the “happy hormones” – and increasing blood flow and oxygen circulation through our bodies.”
Plus all those good moments that come when surfing, hanging out after going out the water or while on a surf trip.
6. Never give up
As Gerry Lopez says, surfing teach us a really important lesson about life: When we are in the lineup and for some reason we get caught by the set, we have two options: we can give up and let the waves take us back to the beach, or we can keep paddling and fight until we get back to our position. Problems in life, come in sets, like waves, but in between these sets there are always periods of calm that we can use to come back to our initial position or even go further. At the end, we have to keep paddling and keep fighting for what we want.
Written by Maria Appleton & Xué Gil
Photography by Xué Gil