Surfing. It seems like such a good idea; man conquering the ocean, showing off a toned physique as you curve along the crest of a wave… it’s the ideal isn’t it? There’s a whole lifestyle that goes along with it, too. The idea of being relaxed, chilled, unbothered by the everyday mundanities – it’s inherently attractive.
So summer rolls around and you decide it’s time to give it a go.
Then the realities begin to sink in.
#1 – It Starts With Such Confidence
The irritating thing about surfers is that they make it look so easy. You can thus convince yourself that it is that easy; a few lessons and you’ll be surfing along as if you were born to do it. This is the beginning of your new life. From hereon out, you will be transformed. You will spend your time posting GoPro images onto YouTube.com, spending your time looking for gear on FinBin.net in between trips to the beach. It’s going to be great.
#2 – You Quickly Learn That Confidence Is Misplaced
It takes precisely ten seconds to realize that that confidence that sprang so eternal only a few moments before was very, very wrong.
Most first surfing lessons begin on the beach, with learning how to stand. You think you’ll spring right up, and then you realize there is an odd curve of the board to contend with. It wobbles. You wobble.
And this is on dry land. How on earth are you going to do this in the ocean?
#3 – You’re Humbled Pretty Quickly
The moment you are finally deemed able to head out into the sea is the beginning of one of the most humbling experiences of your life. Unless you have an as-yet-untapped reserve of natural talent, you’re going to spend a lot of time crashing into the ocean from height. It’s going to hurt.
#4 – The Moment You Do Manage To Stand Up Is Golden
Perhaps it only feels so good as it comes on the back of such knocks to your confidence, but when you do manage to stand up, you feel like a god among men. It might only last a few seconds before you crash back into the sea, but for that moment, it was worth all of the humiliation that went before.
#5 – Standing Up Once Doesn’t Mean You’ll Be Able To Do It Again
Of course, surfing is a cruel mistress. Just because you were able to stand up once doesn’t mean you’ll be doing it again any time soon. Just when you thought you’d cracked it, you return to precarious wobbles and being launched into the sea with little warning.
#6 – You Get Better… But It’s So Slow
It’s at this point many a novice surfer packs in and swears it’s not for them. However, if you persevere, you’ll discover it is possible to be good at this – but it’s going to take a lot of time. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course – and it does mean it’s going to feel all the better when you finally reach competence. Just… don’t expect that to happen too quickly!