Our Surf into Summer Giveaways are seven days of giveaways on our Instagram page from June 12th to the 18th, powered by USA Surfing and the Playa Bowls Surf Team. To celebrate this epic time of year, we want to acknowledge what surfing, as a lifestyle, has taught us. Because it’s far more than a sport, it’s a way of life.
Here are seven important lessons we learned from surfing:
Why we need to protect our oceans
Surfers spend a lot of time in the ocean, and with that comes a deep admiration for it. We see firsthand the garbage along the coastlines and pollution in the waters. That’s why every year on International Surfing Day (June 18, 2022) we come together to celebrate our oceans, and the sustainability of their resources and aim to protect them at all costs.
The importance of patience
Timing is everything, and no one knows that better than a surfer. When you break it down, the average surfer spends over 50 percent of their time paddling out and 28 percent of time waiting for the perfect wave, per paddle. That leaves very little room for actually catching and riding. And yet a surfer continues to wait, patiently, over and over again.
Surfing teaches the importance of patience in a way very few other sports can because there’s no such thing as back-to-back action. Surfers have to keenly watch the horizon, feel the current, and anticipate the right moment to paddle and jump on the board. At first, this might feel like a challenge. But in time, after enough attempts, you come to realize that patience truly does pay off.
That meditation can be done anywhere
To some, waiting around for a wave might seem tedious. But for a surfer, it’s an opportunity to become one with the ocean. Those seconds, or minutes, spent doing nothing is an opportunity to reconnect and reset internally–it’s meditation. Even though the meditation can be interrupted at a moment’s notice, the simple act of repetition (paddle out, wait, paddle in, ride) soon functions as meditation within itself.
How to live in the moment
When the ocean, and weather at large, are out of your control you quickly learn how to live in the moment. It can be sunny with clean swells one minute and rainy with choppy currents the next. The important lesson surfers learn, very early on, is the ability to go with the flow. Mother Nature cannot be tamed or predicted much of the time. But a surfer acknowledges this uncertainty as a gift and instead chooses to take each moment as it comes.
Commitment to decisions
One of the worst things a surfer can do, for themselves and the stoked surfers around them, is to decide to ride a wave only to back out of it. Few things can happen when a surfer backs out of their decision: they miss out on an epic opportunity, they get hit by a wave, and they annoy those around them that wanted it. With surfing, much like in life, the greater risk lies in missing an opportunity rather than committing to a decision and trying.
Ways to respect others
When you’re in the water you quickly learn the ways to value those around you. There are no official boundaries in the ocean. No line to separate the playing field. So, unlike other sports with clearly defined parameters, surfing is about a code of values that are given, and earned, by surfers. It’s a way to understand body language so you don’t hog, drop-in, or snake another person’s wave; respect the local culture; assist another person in need, and overall maintain positive vibes for all of those in the waters around you.
As an official partner of USA Surfing’s Prime Series and Championship, a competition for the nation’s best under 18 years old, we’ve created the “Most Stoked Award”, which recognizes surfers who show good sportsmanship, positive leadership, and have a genuine love for surfing. These are the surfers who have learned the ways to respect others and carry on the good vibes of surfing.
Health is wealth
A bad day on the water can turn into weeks of recovery time (just ask any surfer that’s been beaten by a wave or gashed by their fin). Proper mental and physical health is essential to keep a surfer’s head above water, literally. The better we feel on the inside, through proper nutrition and community, the better we perform.
“Massive thanks to Playa Bowls for bringing their support, good vibes, and focus on health and community to USA Surfing’s Prime Series and Championship event. Playa Bowls’ love for surfing and its connection to communities across the globe is an inspiration and great example for our up-and-coming surfers,” USA Surfing CEO Brandon Lowery.
What’s the most important life lesson surfing has taught you? Tag us and let us know! And be sure to follow us on Instagram for our seven days of Surf into Summer Giveaways for your chance to win.