Benefits of Incorporating Surfing into Your Life

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Table of Contents

When you decide to take the leap and try surfing you probably thought to yourself, it’s just a sport. Something fun to do on the weekends or a cool photo to post on your Instagram.

Little did you know that surfing can ingrain itself into your very being.

Before you know it, you’re deciding what car to buy based on whether your board will fit inside or choosing your holiday destinations based on the nearest surf breaks.

While it can be all-consuming at times, incorporating surfing and the lifestyle that comes along with it has the ability to enrich our lives.

Surfing Encourages Adventure

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As surfing skills improve it’s only natural that our minds wander to distant breaks with empty lineups.

We watch surf films and see clips and can’t help but dream of surf adventures in far-off places.

As such, surfing instills a sense of adventure.

We’re willing to sacrifice the comforts of nice hotels and restaurants and rough it in the interest of greater solitude in the ocean.

As such, surfing can take you further off the beaten track than you might otherwise have ventured.

Physical Benefits

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Surfing has inevitable physical benefits. The hours of paddling improve cardiovascular fitness while also encouraging the development of shoulder and back strength.

When standing on the board, our core strengthens to improve our balance and our legs need power to pump down the line.

Health professionals recommend 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate physical activity each week which for most people is two to three surf sessions.

Being regularly active reduces the risk of diseases including some cancers, maintains a healthy weight, and improves blood pressure and cholesterol.

The best part is that surfing is so enjoyable it doesn’t even feel like a workout.

Mental Health Benefits

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Aside from the mental health benefits associated with physical activity such as mood-enhancing endorphins, surfing has specific mental health benefits because of the nature of the sport.

It provides an opportunity to disconnect from the stressors that plague us from day to day. A rare chance to remove ourselves from the constant connectivity of our smartphones and connect to nature.

The sound of the ocean, fresh air, and sunlight contribute to improved mood and anxiety reduction.

The practice of grounding or earthing refers to a physical connection with nature, such as walking barefoot or being submerged in water.

While still under-researched, it has been reported to improve conditions such as chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.

Above all, surfing allows us to remain fully in the present moment. With nothing to focus on but the oncoming waves, surfers can experience a state of flow where they are fully absorbed in the activity.

It enhances our mental clarity and for a moment we can forget about the problems of the past or worries for the future.

Sense of Community

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Once surfing becomes an active part of your life, you become a member of a unique group of people.

We may not always be the most well-groomed or the most reliable, but we are connected by our love of the ocean and the ‘stoke’ of surfing.

It’s nearly impossible not to develop a sense of camaraderie through the shared experience of countless wipeouts, onshore winds, and drop-ins.

As such the social connection we develop through a collective passion for surfing offers a sense of belonging which can play an important role in our overall wellbeing.

Environmental Consciousness

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Unless you’re in a wave pool, surfing is entirely dependent on nature.

The swell, the direction and strength of the wind, the shape of the coastline. There’s nothing quite as cathartic as sitting on a board wading in crystal clear waters, perhaps a dolphin swims by or a turtle cruises underneath you.

The connection you develop to nature through the act of riding a wave encourages a sense of environmental consciousness and appreciation.

It impacts the way you live your life as you put more emphasis on environmental sustainability in order to try and play your part in protecting the thing that brings you so much joy.

The Lessons Surfing Teaches

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Surfing is seldom a thing one just excels in immediately.

It, like anything difficult, requires dedication and patience.

In the beginning stages there will likely be sessions where you give it everything you’ve got only to miss the wave, fall, or nosedive and shamefully paddle back to shore. Or you wait for what feels like hours for a set to come that never arrives.

After all those wipeouts, there will come a wave on which everything lines up. You’re positioned correctly, you paddle at the right time and angle and your body finally does what you’ve been trying to get it to do.

In that moment, you’ll be grateful for all the failed attempts and what you learned from each one.

You learn to let go of any misguided ideas of control that you have and accept what comes your way.

Surfing is not for the faint of heart, it makes you a more resilient person and we can guarantee you’ll never look back.

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