Your biggest obstacle in becoming a better surfer is you. If you’ve ever found yourself sitting out primo waves because they were a little too daunting and making excuses for yourself afterward, you know exactly what we mean.
There are many fears surrounding surfing but there is one universal truth… action cures fear. Here’s a couple of pointers when it comes to fear and surfing.
As a surfer, your fears can come from a variety of sources: big waves, sharks, reefs, etc. so it should come as no surprise that people are often reluctant to start or push themselves to improve.
Here’s what you didn’t know. Surfing has one of the lowest rates of significant injuries out of any American sport. Surfing weighs in at 6.6 significant injuries per 1,000 hours of COMPETITION LEVEL engagement. Now let’s compare this to other sports:
If the wave you’re going for is a little bigger than you’re used to, give it a shot anyway. At the very worst, you’ll fall face first into the ocean—not a big deal after you’ve spent hours steeped in your own wetsuit pee.
Granted, wiping out can be a scary experience: burn out on a bigger wave and you’re spinning out of control, and it feels like it’s never safe to stop holding your breath. The nice part about fears is that they’re completely reversible, and it could take as little as a single surf session to banish them entirely.
There are only 3 things you need to remember:
Here’s the things about fear. It doesn’t just leave. The ONLY way to get rid of the fears that come rushing over you when you’re staring down the face of a solid 10 footer is to charge it. Action cures fear! What you will find out is, even if you wipe out, it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be.
For me, the biggest thing I could do was make sure my conditioning was up to par. I was never afraid of the wipe out, it was always everything that followed. The waves that trailed, could I paddle back out, what if my wetsuit got ripped off… just kidding. But I think you know what I mean. When you’re exhausted the element of fear can rise because your not sure you have the energy to make it through.
Surfing in waves over head high isn’t a passive sport. If you’re going to be charging bigger waves make sure you’re conditioned for it. If you would like some exercise recommendations leave me a comment below and I’ll put something together.
Now get out there and show the world what you can do.
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