Written by Dan Chipperfield
Surfing in its most simplistic state, is nothing short of a soul replenisher, to some people, it’s a career, to others, a source of exercise or a time to gain absolute clarity. You can have your own sanctuary in the water; you own peace of mind. People can have 100 different reasons why they surf, but what I believe all will have in common is that they think it’s good for the soul, your very own healing or meditation ritual, and they are correct. It doesn’t matter how long of a surf session you have; you could be exhausted afterwards, but also feeling energised and refreshed in a different kind of way. The healing properties of the ocean are unlike anything else.
SURFING GIVES YOU DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
Surfing is a sport that you are not going to master in a short period of time and that’s the beauty of it. There is always something new to learn and the fact that the ocean is never consistent, it always keeps things interesting. There is a huge amount of focus and determination that goes into surfing, always trying to be one step ahead of the wave, trying to predict what it’s going to do or how it is going to break. Surfing a constantly and having this way of thinking daily really helps with your outlook on life, it gives you a different perspective and makes you always want to be one step ahead of the curve in day to day situations.
SURFING REDUCES STRESS AND IS A GOOD WORKOUT
There are not many sports in the world that help reduce stress as much as surfing, just being out in the open water really frees the mind and puts you at ease, that is if you are surfing to your skill level of course. As well as this being a great reliever of stress, it’s also a fantastic workout, without the excursion of say, working out in the gym. It is practically a full body workout doing the thing you love most, so it is really a win-win situation. Do bear in mind, if you are new to surfing this will work your body like nothing else you have done before, so be patient and give it time for new muscle groups to be developed and strengthened. You will not regret it! Physical exercise, in general, is a good way of fighting depression and anxiety, and surfing is no different
SURFING GIVES YOU NEW AND LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Once you have the ball rolling, and you are surfing fit, you are in for the long haul, apart from the practice of surfing itself, you get to enjoy a wide range of new and exciting things such as beautiful destinations across the world you would never have thought to visit, and your new found love for the ocean and what it can produce has lured you there. Wonderful encounters of marine life in the ocean as well as on land, in which you would have never thought you would see first-hand. Travel to beautiful surf destinations in our upcoming SwellWomen retreats, view our calendar for upcoming trip dates and destinations.
Along with these new experiences, you will also learn a great deal as well, such as how to read the tides of the ocean, what the contours of the sea bed are from spot to spot and reading weather patterns that produce great and not so great surf conditions. In this learning experience, it will really help you appreciate the power and energies of mother nature, and in time you will become in tune with it to a certain degree. This lifestyle will benefit your mind body and soul for years to come.
There is nothing like coming in from a solid session, either you have just learnt something new, the conditions were perfect, just you and a few buddies out or just being outdoors in the sunshine. A session like this will have you coming in to the beach smiling from ear to ear with the biggest positive outlook on life. Surfing first thing in the morning is my preferred time as it gets me in a positive mindset to tackle the day ahead.
SURFING PROVIDES AWARENESS TO OCEAN CONSERVATION
Another aspect of surfing and this is really a big one in my opinion, is raising your own awareness to ocean conservation. You will soon realise after surfing a few different locations, in different seasons, that there will be times when you notice the impact ‘us as humans’ have on your new found playground. This will really nail it home; you will want to help keep the ocean and its surrounding environment as clean of trash and other wastes as possible. Some places you are literally pushing thick trash away with your hands, this is a disaster to the ocean and can sometimes have serious health effects on the body. This should not be a selfish act; you must think of all the incredible wildlife that inhabit this beautiful environment and consider their safety and wellbeing as a priority.
By a rule of thumb each time you go surfing, on the way back in pick up as much trash as possible and dispose of it in a sensible, environmentally friendly manner. This will also give you a positive boost that you have done your part for the day. Who knows how many sea creatures you may have just saved?
To clean up oceans, you can get involved, donate or volunteer and attend beach clean up days organized by local groups such as Surfrider Foundation or Ocean Conservancy. Or start up your own beach clean up day with your friends and family.
SURFING HAS HUGE BENEFITS ON MIND, BODY AND SOUL
All in all, surfing is the most positive sport and takes years off you. Sunshine, saltwater, fresh ocean air, physical activity and an undying love for the environment, will keep you in a frame of mind you won’t to lose.
Anybody at any age can start to learn to surf, you don’t have to aim to be the best, just get out there and enjoy yourself. A surfer with a positive attitude is the best kind of surfer out there and you will really feel the benefits that the ocean has to offer.
Surfing is good for your health and has huge benefits on mind, body and soul. Waking up 5am every morning to go and surf for two to three hours is the best morning meditation/workout ever.
For more on the benefits of surfing, check our blog: The Physical, Mental & Emotional Benefits of Surfing.