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The Reality Is... Surfing Can Be Frustrating (Sometimes)
Are you new to surfing or have been surfing for years? Here are our top 5 things you will probably definitely experience surfing. The reality is you will:
1. Be dumped
It happens. Have you been on your foamy in the whitewash and tossed around in the waves? Or have you been paddling into the perfect set wave yet somehow ended up sailing over the falls? The trick is how to deal with the dumping – and sometimes humiliation – not to mention your bikini top ending up around your neck. First up, take a look around and see if another surfer saw, make eye contact, crack a smile and laugh; chances are you will be greeted with a sympathetic grin.
2. Be frustrated
There are so many frustrating things about surfing, but we think it is part of the fun. Missing a wave you’ve paddled for. Not being able to stand up when you’ve been trying so hard. Driving to a surf spot for hours to find there’s no waves. Even wriggling into a wet and sandy wetsuit. When you finally do score a great wave, those frustrations fade away.
3. Be scared
Maybe you’re scared of only one thing when it comes to surfing, or maybe there’s quite a list. Good on you though, you’re still shaking off those fears and paddling out. Of course, there’s plenty of things to be scared of – scared of big waves, scared of reef, rocks or even clumps of seaweed. Or maybe you’re scared of the busy line-up and getting in other surfers’ way. Oh yeah, then there’s sharks.
To calm those nerves, maybe avoid surfing where there’s a shallow reef, clumps of kelp or a super busy line-up. There will always be another friendly spot to try. Also try a bit of positive self-talk; it always helps to turn that fear right down until it's nothing but a whisper.
4. Nose dive
Sliding face first off the board as it flips up in the air behind you. Acceptance is the first step of the nose diving experience. It’s going to happen quite a lot when you first start surfing. To avoid nose diving, wiggle up and down on your board until you find the sweet spot. You’ll know it when you find it. It will feel just right and chances are the nose will stop submerging under the wave as you paddle. Or try for a faster pop-up to help avoid an unceremonious nose dive. The more you surf, the less it happens, but years later out of nowhere you’ll do a nose dive and end up with a healthy saline nasal flush.
5. Ride your first green wave!
After all that hard work in the whitewash, the chunky foam boards, the falling off and the nose dives, that first green wave will be worth it. The wave might only last a few seconds gliding along the smooth water before you fall into the ocean but it will be seared into your memory forever.