Each surf session starts with excitement, even a little trepidation. There’s not one person who’s been in to waves of any size who can say they didn’t feel just a little nervous… and rightly so. But what are the worst surf session fails?
Worst surf session fails
You never go into the water thinking it’s gonna go wrong, after all catching waves is the best buzz in the world. But plenty of things can go wrong in the water. So here’s my top 10 surf session fails. They descend from not-so-bad, to apocalyptic – but don’t worry , we’ve all been there!
10. Getting washed in
It’s lully and you’ve haven’t caught much in a white, so you hop on a tiny one with decent shape. Kicking out, you look back and see a clean up set materializing out back.
Everyone is scratching to make it over before the first wave detonates. But they’re a dozen metres in front of you. Duck diving is useless. You get washed all the way in. Not the worst thing in the world, but never fun.
9. Getting Bro-ed out
What was true ten years ago is truer today: everybody surfs. There’s an estimated 20 million surfers in the world and sometimes every single one of them is out at your local break.
So you paddle down the beach or sit way up top or way inside to eschew overpopulation. Trouble is, all those bodies in the water displace enough volume to swamp even the most tolerant high tide break – or at the very least the best peaks and take-off spots are overrun.
Hanging back or joining the melee both translate into very few waves which untimately makes it onto this list as one of the top surf session fails.
8. Bringing the wrong equipment
You’ve been monitoring the swell for a week now, tracking the purple blob’s progress across thousands of nautical miles.
You go to bed early and are up before dawn. Your vehicle has been packed for a killer surf trip since yesterday. There’s no one on the road but delivery guys making their rounds. After a thirty-minute ride you check your favorite spot to find it’s firing.
Only one other guy has beat you out. You shiver in the pre-dawn chill as you change, knowing the trouble was worth it to score solid, empty waves. Reaching in your truck you aim to grab your 6’6” step-up, the extra volume is the only way to get into or over the double-over-head set waves.
Shortboard, fish, mini-simmons, where is that step-up? And it hits you. You left it in your garage – epic surf session fail and it’s all on you.
7. Breaking your equipment
The worst session of my life consisted of paddling over a rock and ripping up my board, on the way out!
Dangerously close runner-ups include swimming after a runaway board with a broken leash, and snapping my favorite board in half on the first wave of the day. Yea, it’s just stuff, but it’s hard not to be materialist when you need these things to surf.
6. Hurting yourself
There’s nothing like getting your bell rung by an errant board to set things in perspective. Surfing injuries are generally uncommon, but can be serious. You’re basically riding a pointed fiberglass bludgeon with three blades attached. What’s the worst that could happen?
5. Getting burned
We’ve all been there. You take off on a good one, make the first section, and then watch as someone else drops right in front of your and gobbles up your wave.
You can shout and hoot to warn off intruders, but sometimes they’re beyond committed. And sometimes they’ll crumble the wave right onto to you. It’s possibly the most defeating of surf session fails.
Do you command such little respect in the water? Are you surfing so poorly it’s just that easy to be taken advantage of? Occasionally it’s an innocent mistake, but one too many snakes and you’ll lose confidence paddling into anything else the rest of the day.
4. Blowing the wave of the day
This demon tends to rear it’s ugly head on surf holidays. Conditions are great, the crowd is light, the waves are choice, and everyone is respectfully taking turns.
All well and good until the wave of the day rolls through and you’re up, sitting comfortably in control. You judge this wave a bit bigger than the rest, possibly breaking a little further out. But you don’t want to exercise too much caution and miss the thing altogether, so you stay put, waiting to make a steep drop into the barrel of lifetime.
It arrives and you instantly regret your decision. It’s over by the time you pop up. You’re too deep and well past the point of no return. The rest of the lineup cringes as you get tossed over the falls.
3. Turning agro
It’s easy to lose your cool in the water: too many surfers, too many mistakes, crappy conditions, and a bad attitude.
You blame everybody and everything but yourself. Go ahead, start shouting and carrying on. Everyone else will ignore you and smirk at your misfortune. Get in someone’s face and you’re the douchebag everyone remembers – not the guy who cut you off.
2. Hurting someone else
Injuring yourself is one thing, taking out someone else usually means it’s time to get out of the water. Even if it’s not your fault, this never feels good and is the most humbling of surf session fails. It’s hard to recover any momentum of a good session when you send someone home busted open.
1. Feeling something below
Did something just knock your board from below? Or brush against your leg. The universal session killer. Especially when you just have ‘that feeling’ already. You ask your buddy ‘is this beach sharky?’ No need to wait for his reply. It’s time to get out of there.
Well now you know the top 10 surf session fails to avoid. Best bet to avoid the blues is to head on a surfing holiday, so out our surfing articles for inspiration!