In this article we look at ways of improving your Surf-Esteem. We also ask the all important question: what is surfing all about?
“That’s what surfing is all about.” A surfer couldn’t be more cliché, especially when he’s a pro talking about perfect barrels to surf in Peru with one other buddy and no one else out but an award winning photographer. Oh and a gaggle of girls waiting with cold drinks on the boat. Sweet, dude. Of course that’s what surfing is about.
How can laymen like you and I possibly feel good about surfing our crappy, crowded, local breaks when we’re continuously inundated with footage of guys scoring tropical perfection every time we go online? How can we stay stoked when we know the only things that are going to pick up on the waste-high slop is the wind and the crowd? Why even surf at all?
Now, I know enough surfers to know that we’re not the type of people to feel sorry for ourselves because of conditions that are out of our control. But I also know enough of us to constantly hear the symptoms of low surf-esteem.
The disorder is characterised by incessant bitching about what could be better with the local waves. Going on about getting more swell, better angle, warmer water, less people, less wind, less kelp; the list of gripes goes on.
And it all just seems like a catalog of what the pros get when they surf in Indonesia, Hawaii or Fiji that we don’t have at our home break. Well, I’m sick of the comparisons! I think the best medicine for low surf-esteem is a little perspective.
Surfing has never been about the pros. The guys in magazines and movies getting paid to travel and score with free equipment and tickets don’t embody the sport. They simply represent the ideal – the best athletes on the best waves.
They’re like pro athletes of any sport. But their existence and visibility doesn’t stop us from playing sports altogether, does it? We should surf with the same attitude in mind, taking care to not concentrate on what could be better and rather enjoying what we do have.
Instead, surfing has to be about something intrinsic in the act itself. Why else would we do it? Getting better is common motivation. And it’s easy to try new things in forgettable waves; you won’t regret going down.
Others appreciate the serenity the sport provides. It’s being surrounded by water; riding a swell that’s travelled thousands of miles to arrive; living at the mercy of the elements; with no cell phone or computer to claim our attention.
And still others are into the ritual. Rising early, packing the car, scoping the spots, waxing the board and paddling out. It’s natural therapy. Waves don’t need to be epic to appreciate any of these concepts.
Improving your surf-esteem will banish stokeless sessions and eliminate negativity. Okay so you probably don’t train in an endless pool like the pros. But when conditions aren’t optimal at your local break, or you feel envious of Kelly Slater and friends in Tahiti. Just remember that we don’t surf for the cover shots or the glory of a tour win.
We surf for ourselves. Because there is something about it we love. So next time you’re complaining about the weather, the swell, or the crowd, just remember there’s a reason you’re suiting up in the first place.
So what is surfing all about? It’s something personal to you and different for everyone. Ultimately you surf for yourself.
We hope this guide to improving your Surf-Esteem has reminded you what is surfing all about? If it has inspired you to head off on a trip then check out our great surfing holidays worldwide.