I’ve thought about my surf failings and have come up with the following New Year resolutions.
Hopefully they can help you and me be a better surfer, in and out of the water.
1. Surf at least 52 times in 2019Reckon you could surf once a week, on average, for the whole of 2019? It’s harder than you think, especially if like me you’re not young, kid free or single.
My mate Matt sets himself this challenge each year. He lives 3 miles from the waves and works flexitime, but he’s in his forties and has 2 young kids. Each year he only just squeezes in 52 sessions before the year ends.
Think about it. In Britain, 2 months of winter will be blown out and 6 weeks in summer will be flat. Then there’s trips to see landlocked relatives, the occasional city break and weddings. That means you’ll need to surf at least twice a week, in the 7 surfable months remaining.
Up for it? Go get yourself a notebook and make a note of each surf. Or go wild and get a wave stamp, each time you surf, stamp the car. Like fighter pilots used to do.
2. Buy your own surf waxThere’s no such thing as ‘team wax’, there’s just surfers who buy wax and surfers who steal wax.
Ok ‘steal’ might be a bit strong but when’s the last time you bought a block of wax? I bet you use other people’s wax more than your own. I certainly do and can’t remember when I last bought a block (maybe a year ago).
The point is a block of wax is probably the cheapest surf accessory you can buy. It’s good to keep your wax job fresh and it’s good to give, not just take. So get down to your local surf shop and buy a block of your favourite smelling surf wax. Strip your board naked and give it a good rub down.
I promise you, your board and your fellow surfers will feel better afterwards.
3. Put away your rusty sheriffs badgeChocolate starfish, winking brown eye and rusty sheriff badge. Whatever you call your sphincter, it shouldn’t be on show at your local family surf spot. You’ll scare the kids, give a senior citizen palpitations and if nothing else – I suspect it’s illegal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of nudity and have myself been a serial flasher when changing in and out of my wetty. But I’m now of an age where I think more about the consequences of my actions. That and I have one of those hoody towels I said I’d never be seen dead in.
You might be very proud of your buns of steel, and consider it a generous act to offer a free public display. But believe me when I say ‘only perverts (and possibly your partner) want to see your bare spotty butt’. So next time you’re changing in the car park, cliff or beach – cover up please.
4. Phone a friend pre-surfDon’t be shellfish, phone a friend next time you go for surf. Sure, solo surfs are important for clearing the mind and soothing the soul. But there’s nothing like laughing your arse off when your mate gets sucked over the falls, or receiving a nod of recognition as you glide off the shoulder from your wave of the day.
It’s easy to assume your mates can’t make it to the beach when you can. It’s difficult to grab a phone when an unexpected surf opportunity arises. But if you don’t make the effort you’ll become a lonely surf leper. At least send a text letting potential surf buddies know where you’re going.
You’ll be surprised. I reckon one of my mates turns up at least 50% of the time. That might not sound like a lot, but it means I get to share waves and laugh with my friends twice as much.
5. Make time for post surf sessionsNext time you go for a surf with a friend, grab a post surf pint. They not only taste better but you get to verbally dissect your surf. At least hangout for a little while and shoot the breeze. Let’s face it no one else will care what the waves were like, or appreciate that late drop you narrowly survived. So chat about it while you can.
It’s all too easy to jump straight in the car and race home to complete another chore. Even if you’re on your own, take time to savour the waves, bask in the last sun rays off the day and gaze at the awe inspiring ocean. Just an extra 30 minutes can make your surf much more memorable.
As you get older and life’s demands start stacking up, a ‘splash and dash’ soon becomes the norm. So make time for post surf sessions.
Regular readers might have noticed this post has been recycled from 3 years ago, but it’s still very relevant. If you’ve got a New Years surfing resolution that’s not mentioned above, please let me know in the comments below. Cheers.