My mate Matt notes every surf he has each year. The goal is to surf once a week on average, that’s 52 surfs a year. To be honest, I’ve always bottled it in case I discover how little I actually surf.
But I’ve made a late New Years Surf Resolution. Inspired by fellow surfer dad Mark Bracey AKA @poogmobile and his simple but beautifully satisfying wave tally for 2019, I had a word with myself, and I’m going for it. I’m doing the 52 surfs challenge!
Assuming you can remember all your surfs so far this year, get involved and share your progress – if you dare.
What is the 52 surfs challenge?In short, surf 52 times in 1 year.
Sounds simple and easy right? It is, but only if you:
• get paid to surf
• are unemployed / student
• live walking distance from waves
• have an extremely understanding partner
• have no partner
• have no kids
If the above applies to you, then try the 365 surf challenge.
For any normal person over the age of 25, who’s burdened by responsibility and commitment, it’s not so easy.
To surf 52 times in one year, you need to go 4.3 times per month. If you take away:
• 4 weeks in summer when it’s flat
• 4 weeks in winter when it’s blown out
• 2 weeks for landlocked adventures e.g. city breaks, work trips, weddings
You’re 2.5 months down before you start! Now you need to surf at least 5.5 times per month.
How to do the 52 surfs challenge
You can go hi-tech or low-tech. I went low and liberated a notebook from my daughter. Then scrawled all 12 months to await my triumphant five bar tallies. I’ve also added a section for the beaches I surf, to discover my favourite break of 2020.
On a separate page I’m keeping a very brief surf diary with details of each surf, including wave size, weather conditions and time. Not sure if I’ll elaborate or stop these but I’m hoping they’ll reveal some revelation in the future.
You can obviously go mid-tech and start your own spreadsheet with posh pivot charts. Like Poogmobile’s Dad @Mr_Djb does (see image above). Or there’s fancy apps you can use like SurfTrackr to note each session on your phone.
If you want to go full NASA, get yourself a GPS watch e.g. Apple, Rip Curl, and download the surf app to match. Surfline Sessions and Dawn Patrol apps both look good options for Android and Apple watches. My mate Matt revealed he now uses a Garmin app!
Why do the 52 surfs challenge?
Simple – to surf more! Keeping a tally creates a sense of urgency. When I got half way through January and realised I hadn’t made a single mark in my new surf tally book, I freaked. I’ve surfed every week since.
The challenge motivates you to:
• think ‘when can I get another strike on my tally’
• rediscover your surf mojo
• create surfing windows of opportunity
• surf when the conditions aren’t five star
Surf apps and webcams make it too easy to pick and choose only the perfect waves. But some of the best surfs can be in less than perfect conditions.
For example, last Sunday was forecast gale force WNW winds (cross-onshore for most beaches near me). I got up early, it was dark, windy and cold but in the spirit of Eddie – I did go. I was rewarded with a relatively uncrowded cleanish shoulder-high session with the odd barrel, and I bumped into lots of old friends. If I’d paid any attention to MSW’s one star rating I would have given it a miss and stayed in bed. Bloody glad I didn’t.