Why we surf

April 27, 2015 by becca.lazar No Comments

praa surf

Surfing is an absurd idea really. You strap yourself to a board and throw yourself into the water, fight against the waves as they push back, impeding your access to the ocean, all in the name of taming one in an effort to find yourself back where you started. The average time of the ride? Six seconds.

And before that there’s the constant monitoring of the surf reports, chasing the right conditions up and down the coast, the measly one foot waves, the cold and choppy waters and the struggle into what is essentially a neoprene onesie. There’s also the waiting: the time sat in the water waiting for the perfect set. But there’s something that keeps us going back for more. Some go as far as to call it an addiction.

So why do we do it?

We’re not sadists. Riding a wave is like the Perfect Storm. A simultaneous occurrence of events that provide an opportunity to become One with Nature while experiencing the magical feeling of flying we imagined as kids along with the sense of achievement that we crave as adults. Total fulfilment on all levels; hence the addiction.

You are literally riding the Earth’s energy in its raw natural form. The molecules of water that make up each wave have travelled across the ocean and you can feel that energy beneath your feet as you piggy back its last step towards the land.

There are a number of stages to catching a wave. First there’s hope: as in I hope that I’m paddling hard enough to even catch this wave. Next comes disbelief: from ‘I’ve caught it!’ to ‘yes, I’m standing!’ Then comes the ecstasy: it’s like floating on air and those 6 seconds elongate, become minutes before you slow and the moment’s gone. You can even have fun with the wave, gliding along it, twisting the board in the water, changing direction.

Eventually it dies though and you begin to sink back into the water. And it’s time to do it all again.

I’m not the best surfer out there. There are times when I just haven’t got the strength to push myself up and stand on the board. It tests your fitness and improves your strength and agility in a way that the gym with its strip lights, blaring dance music and smell of sweaty feet simply can’t. It’s gloriously exhausting.

Surfing can also be contemplative. Sitting out back, waiting for the next set as the sun begins to set is as far from the worries of modern life as you can get. You are physically separate from the land, your own little island. It puts it all into perspective, draining away any of the days negative energy.

There’s no greater feeling than surfing and that feeling of being part of the ocean, really riding on top of the world. Surfing’s freedom, adventure and creativity rolled into one. It is thrillingly surreal. There is weightlessness that exists as you are moving quickly but are standing right on top of the water. The power of the wave pushing your board combined with movement across, up and down the face as you gain speed is the thrilling aspect. Yet you are right in the middle of nature – feeling the air, hearing the break of the wave as water sprays around you and perhaps the sound of a seagull. That’s the surreal part, something you don’t normally experience in a lot of other outdoor sports.

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Posted in: Days out
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