When you’re young, dumb and full of … a lust for life, you can always find time to surf. As you grow older, and supposedly wiser, life starts getting in the way.
Romance, ambition and well-being, all start making demands on your time. Unless you’ve got the wit to read the signs and the willpower to fight for your right to surf, you may as well stick your board on eBay now.
Here are the five reasons main reasons why people quit surfing – and why they shouldn’t…
It starts with a kiss, then a few dates, sleep together, live together, get married, kids… boom. With each step, the pressure to spend more time with loved ones increases until your surf bubble bursts.
Before you know it you’re having dinner parties instead of evening glass offs, school runs instead of dawnies, every surf becomes a race to get somewhere else. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The trick is to learn the signs. Keep a lookout for them, be on your guard and at all costs stay strong and faithful to your first true love – surfing.
“Before you know it, you’re doing school runs instead of dawnies”Never date a person who doesn’t like beaches or has an unhealthy attachment to city life. I’ve seen it happen. A sexy, confident, fun loving thrill seeker jets down from the smoke for a bit of beach time. They find a local surfer and fall in love with the laid back way of life.
Then in true city style, they attempt a hostile takeover. You either relocate to the city or you’re back to being a single penniless surfer again. You’ll miss ‘em but it’s nothing a good surf won’t fix.
What you need is a lover of sunsets, tropical low budget holidays and beach BBQs. Someone who laughs when salt water cascades from your nasal passage onto their chest mid-coitus. A person who loves your local coastline as much as you do and would never be parted from it. A partner who loves you because you surf.
If you find someone like that, keep them.
Employers now expect more than 9-5. Blood, sweat and tears are just some of your core duties.
If you want to climb the promotion ladder, you need to arrive early, work through your lunch hour, stay late and when you get home, work some more. Where’s the time for surfing? There is none.
If you want to ride the career fast track, you’re gonna need to swap your wet suit for a wool suit and head to the city. Few cities in the world are blessed with waves, and those that are suffer from chronic overcrowding.
Sydney’s main beaches are so crammed with merciless city surfers, an hour in the water is more a saltwater brawl than a soulful surf session.
If you want to surf forever, you need to make sacrifices. Like working for a smaller business, for less money with little prospect of promotion. But do you live to work, or work to live? We work to live, and we live for surfing.
Bad backs, broken bones, surf infections and disease might cause you to miss a surf or two. Prolonged poor health may force you to quit surfing altogether. However, most poor health is preventable.
Bad backs and broken bones are usually the result of a stupid accident. Don’t try to lift and swing 5 under fives at once, don’t punch solid objects in anger (try counting to 10 instead, it works for the Queen), wear protection!
“Get inoculated, wear sunscreen, use condoms and don’t punch solid objects in anger”
Avoid surfing in shitty water and wear ear plugs. Follow those two simple tips and you should avoid most surf infections.
Disease is a broad term, but again simple precautions can be taken to prevent the most common illnesses.
Eat food with enough vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy glow. Get inoculated, wear sunscreen, use condoms and do all the things good doctors recommend.
Prescribe yourself a regular dose of surfing, it keeps you happy, healthy and out of trouble.
I’m fast approaching 40 and I don’t surf as much as I’d like to, but if I had more time… family, work and the occasional bout of ill health would quickly consume it.
If you’re young and happily unemployed, then you’ll have all the time in the world to surf. If you’re like me, you often feel there’s no time to surf, the answer is to manage your time better.
Do dawnies and sunset sessions, instead of lying in bed or watching Great British Bake Off. Dodge time killing bullets like DIY and unnecessary chores. Don’t mow the lawn or do the ironing when you could be riding waves. Life is too short.
Can’t go surfing cause you need to look after the kids or dog? Phone a friend or family, barter, trade time, do whatever you have to do to keep surfing. When you miss a swell, it’s a slippery slope. Before you know it you stop checking the surf forecasts because you know you can’t go.
Never stop checking the surf forecasts, never stop looking for ways to sneak a surf in. By making time to surf, you’ll be a happier and healthier surfer. If you’re happier and healthier, time spent working and loving will be more rewarding.
You now have the wisdom but have you got the will to surf forever?
Could you really ditch the one you love (or at least lust for) in favour of surfing? Are you prepared to sacrifice a financially rewarding city career for a surfer’s life on a shoestring?
Can you ban yourself from binge drinking to prolong your surfing life (and liver)? Will you always find time for a surf when the swell’s up?
If you can confidently say ‘yes’ to everyone of these questions, then you have the willpower required. You are a surfing jedi.
There are many reasons to quit surfing, but none are ever good. As Yoda once said, before going for a surf, “nothing sadder, than surfer who used to surf, there is”.