August 19, 2022

Surfing psychology

Everyone has a head full of cockroaches, but surfers can be systematized and driven out

Surfing is not an easy sport; for success in it, it is essential not only for physical health but also for psychological health.

As practice shows, you can catch waves and have fun without legs and without hands, but only with a clear mind and a positive attitude.

Psychological traps await every surfer in the ocean; you get caught and risk stopping in progress and maybe even losing interest in surfing altogether.

I wrote in detail about these traps and how not to fall into them.


Fear can become the engine of progress, or it can permanently slow down development in surfing

It all depends on the character: someone likes to overcome themselves, such people more often achieve success in surfing, take huge waves and pass pipes, calmly falling into fierce batches.

Fear, on the contrary, slows down others, not allowing them to leave their comfort zone, and this is precisely the guarantee of development.

According to statistics, girls are afraid more often, but still, gender is not the determining factor here.

To fight fear, you need to look it in the face, to understand what exactly you are afraid of. Choke? In this case, you should be like a freediving course.

In the end, no one forces you to climb on giant waves like Nazare or Tiahupu, and if you fall from a lock, say, two heights, it will twist underwater, but not so long, a maximum of half a minute, which is within the framework of human abilities to delay breathing is nonsense.

It is necessary to expand the boundaries of comfort gradually

So, to start riding a new spot, it is better to “try” it in the forecast when the waves are small, then a little larger, to understand the lock and get used to it, after which it will not be scary to climb on it, but even more significant in size.

An important role here is played by the presence next to you on the lineup of someone you know, someone who is rolled to the spot, or more experienced.

He can shout “come on” at the right moment when you are in doubt, but from the side, it is clear that the position is ideal.

Having taken such a wave once, which I didn’t dare to row before (and it doesn’t matter whether you drove it or fell and floated safely), the internal block will be removed, and it will be easier further.


Another danger that awaits a surfer on a lineup is uncontrollable aggression

It can be caused by different circumstances: curved waves that cannot be picked up in any way, or a large number of people, because of which it is impossible to leave the wave.

It is much more challenging to fight internal rabies because it is caused by external circumstances, which you most likely cannot influence in any way.

But, as they say, if you cannot change the situation, change your attitude towards it.

When you catch yourself thinking that you are ready to blow up the whole world to hell, swim out into the channel or into the outside, where you will not be caught off guard by the wave, sit on the board and take a deep breath.

Try to understand what is so annoying to you at the moment

Locks that are not picked up? Well, in a state of fuss and nerves, you can hardly concentrate on the ocean and take the wave.

Therefore, you need to calm down and look at the situation differently. Only you do not ride, and the rest calmly take and leave the waves? So you are choosing the wrong position.

Observe others, where they take the waves, and how they rake them.

Spending a little time on this, you have time to calm down, swim out where you need to, and finally take your wave.

Option number two – surfers around are also having difficulty

It suggests that the quality of the waves leaves much to be desired.

In this case, getting angry is even more senseless; you have to either get out of the water or if you want to, turn today’s gurney into a game for yourself when you need to choose waves with special care.

Do not set yourself goals to drive a certain number of locks, do not row on everything, sit and wait, watch the ocean. Then each correctly chosen wave will bring a lot of joy!

It also happens that people are pissed off. If a crowd on the lineup prevents you from skating, for example, you are scared to swim out at the very peak.

As a result, all the waves are dismantled by those who do not piss.

In another situation, too many surfers are sitting on the inside; it is scary to knock them down, and indeed there is literally nowhere to go, or you are constantly being dropped.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to drive people out of the water or force them to let themselves pass

There is only one way out – to change the spot.

Or the one where you will feel competitive, or significantly fewer people. If at someplace the situation with “losing your temper” is repeated constantly, stop riding it, as I did with the Bali Batu Bolong, and do not regret it.

In any case, you do not need to drive yourself into a rage; it is better to change your place than to hate everyone in the world of people and to surf to boot.


High expectations are the real scourge of the aspiring surfer these days

In the era of the ubiquitous Internet, the understanding of surfing is formed thanks to pictures in which guys with absolutely calm faces ride in pipes, and tanned girls in bikinis walk beautifully on a longboard, smiling at the photographer.

But the whole long learning process that preceded this ease remains behind the scenes.

Don’t you know how many times Kelia Moniz fell from the board before she learned to walk with her eyes closed to the very nose of her longboard?

How many pipes did Kelly Slater fail to make? For some reason, the answer “A lot” is not apparent to everyone.

It’s even surprising how many people come to the ocean in the firm belief that now they just rent a board on the beach and will also imposingly dissect on the waves.

And it’s also good if common sense manages to get through to consciousness, and a novice surfer goes to a surf school

There he will be quickly besieged; they will tell that learning to surf is a long process, requiring perseverance and patience, which is not so much in pipes; you can swim on natural waves only after 3-4 sessions in the foam near the shore.

Those who, after competent explanations, moderate their appetite and, step by step, under the guidance of a coach, begin to master a new occupation for themselves, have a chance of success.

A completely different story happens to those who adamantly believe in their talent, especially skaters, snowboarders, and other “board players” who are prone to such star fever.

These guys rent a board on the beach and break into the ocean. Not knowing anything about the features of the spot, or about how, in general, you need to catch waves, or about safety precautions.

At best, these attempts end in disappointment and the belief that “surfing sucks,” rarely with thoughts: “Maybe I’m doing something wrong?”

But worse outcomes are also possible: broken boards and injuries

By the way, injuries can be severe if a person decides from the first time that it’s time for him to go down the pipe, and by some miracle, gets to the lineup!

The recipe for treating star fever is straightforward: education. Instead of spending hours watching videos of excellent surfers and imagining yourself in their shoes, read articles on how the training works.

On the websites of any surf school, there is a lot of helpful information about how lessons are going and what a beginner surfer needs to know.

And the main thing is to perceive everything adequately.

When experienced people say that you should study with an instructor, this is not because they consider you a sucker, but because their experience says that EVERYONE is better off checking with an instructor.


Another problem surfers face at one stage, or another is stagnation, that is, lack of development

With surfing, as with weight loss, at first, the process is fast and happy with the results, and then progress slows down, and a plateau sets in.

This plateau can last quite a long, depending on how often you ride. However, this “disease” is more likely to mow down those who ride a lot and regularly.

It turns out the following story: you learned something, every time in the ocean you do the same thing, and it ceases to bring as much joy as before, but the new does not work out.

If this situation repeats repeatedly, thoughts may begin to creep into your head that you are a mediocrity, not capable of anything and that this may well be his, this surfing.

It is a widespread problem indeed, and to avoid mental exhaustion, the best solution is to take a break

Take a break from surfing, do other things, ideally those you do well, and bring joy.

After a while, he will again want to go to the ocean, even if only for the good old passages without frills.

Then, they will start to delight again, and it will be easier to learn new tricks on an emotional upsurge.