Everybody loves a good list, so we have created one whose subject matter is near and dear to our hearts — surfing! We have compiled what we believe are the ten most compelling reasons to learn to surf. Without further ado, here they are!
1. Surfing is great exercise for the body
Surfing uses nearly every part of the body. When you’re first learning to surf, it’s common to “discover” muscles you never knew you had. While it helps provide muscle toning and strength, it is also an aerobic activity — which means you’re exercising the heart and lungs as well. Best of all, it’s one of those activities that doesn’t really feel like exercise; only afterwards do you realize it was a workout, and a very thorough one at that!
2. Surfing is a whole lot of fun
One of the main reasons that you probably won’t even realize that you’re exercising in the moment is because surfing is just so much fun. Even more enjoyable — if you add sunshine and warm water to the mix! Learning to surf can indeed be frustrating at times, like with any new skill, but those moments are overshadowed by the blissful feeling that you will get when you catch and ride a great wave, and that sensation of contentedness after having a great surf session.
3. Surfing is an enjoyable way to spend time with your family and loved ones
Learning to surf with your family, friends, or significant other is a fantastic bonding experience and one that can bring you even closer to your nearest and dearest. When learning, it’s recommended to find a safe beach with a beginner-friendly wave, particularly for families with young children. Doing so will eliminate much of the risk factor, and allow you and your group to relax and focus on learning and having fun.
4. Surfing makes for a wonderful active vacation
Surfing is one of those great activities that you can practice in different places all over the world, many of which are popular tourist destinations, and even more that are off the beaten trail. Surfing is not just an ocean sport — while it is more rare, it is possible to surf in lakes, rivers, and even wave parks nowadays. And it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, there is always somewhere in the world with waves that are just waiting to be surfed!
5. Surfing provides you a great sense of personal achievement
Learning to surf is hard, make no mistake about it. There will be times that will you be frustrated and overwhelmed, and you will want to give up. Surfing is an incredibly humbling experience in which, oftentimes, both your ego and your body will get pummeled in the white water. However, if you are able to persevere and push past this learning curve, you will be rewarded with an unparalleled sense of accomplishment. Most of all, you will be reminded that hard work, perseverance, and determination do pay off!
6. Surfing is also exercise for the mind
Surfing is an individual sport: while you can surf with others, have a great time with them, and enjoy their company, in the end, it’s just you and the wave. For some, surfing is like meditation, therapy, or religion. For others, it’s an opportunity to do something outside of their comfort zone, conquer their fears, and hone in on the power of their own minds. Whatever surfing turns out to be for you, it is likely to be much more than just the sum of its individual parts.
7. You will learn a lot more than just about surfing
If you have a good surf instructor, you will learn a lot more than just how to catch waves and stand up on the board. You will also learn about the ocean: tides, swells, waves, types of surf breaks, and challenges that the world’s oceans face. Even more importantly, you will get compelling, firsthand experience with and awareness about the ocean. Also, surfing has its own history and culture, and learning about these subjects is one of the highlights of becoming a surfer.
8. Surfing is a low-impact activity
Among its many wonderful attributes, surfing is a “silent” or low-impact activity on its own — imagine, there’s no noise from motorized equipment, no trees have had to be cut down, and there’s no infrastructure required for you to enjoy the sport — it’s just you, your gear, and the waves. There are also ways to reduce the impact of surfing itself, like biking or walking to your surf spot, using responsibly made surfboards and gear, and purchasing biodegradable wax, sunscreen, and other products that will go into the ocean.
9. Surfing helps to foster a meaningful connection with nature
The act of catching a wave on a surfboard and riding it is, in a word, wild. Utilizing the physical manifestation of the movement of energy, you are harnessing nature’s power and channeling it for one (or hopefully several) exhilarating moment(s). The very act piques all of your senses and can make you hyper aware of your own connection to nature, something that is often forgotten by the human race. With each positive experience this heightened awareness has the potential to affect how you feel about the beach, the ocean, and nature in general.
10. Learning to surf will make you more likely to become an environmentalist
Finally, if you learn to surf, you’re likely to, at least, become more mindful about your impact on the planet as a whole and, at most, a full-blown environmentalist. Why? Because you will have either a newfound or newly-remembered relationship to nature. Furthermore, it is proven that people will go out of their way to protect what they care for and love. If the ocean is your new playground, you are going to start paying more attention to the plight of the ocean, and taking strong actions when you hear about how human impact is the main source of this plight.
Do any of our top 10 reasons for learning to surf resonate with you? Feel free to share your top reason(s) for wanting to learn to surf in the comments below.