The Ocean is Intimidating to Surfers



When I am teaching Oceanside Surf Lessons parents often ask how young I can start with children. I tell them age is not as important as whether they have been in the ocean and are Big surfcomfortable with being taken under water while swimming or boogie boarding. If they are not, the first time the surf board turns over on them, they are through.

I also teach marines who are intimidated by the waves. Humans have a need to be in control. The ocean grinds that need into dust as Mother Nature shows you what a wave can do. Humans can learn to surrender, which is necessary to enjoy the experience of getting trounced.

I learned to surrender and enjoy the experience early. When I described it in a writing to my daughter she found it a little frightening. She does not enjoy surrender. A neighbor who has taken up the sport is talking about quitting and I heard him tell his wife he doesn’t want to drown.

Big wave surfers like Greg Long have said they were terrified of 6′ waves when they started. A woman who won the big wave contest on 25′ waves a few years ago said she was terrified of one foot waves when she began.

What happens? We have to learn to manager fear. Ask a member of Seal Teams if they are ever afraid; of course they are. No one wants to die and when facing that potential. Even though you are fully trained, you have to learn to manage your fear. This is why marines and Seals are trained endlessly so that when the time comes, they perform correctly automatically.

I don’t always enjoy the trouncings of waves and I am on keen alert to potential danger, but when doing backward somersaults under water, I have learned to relax until it is over. On big wave days I am keenly alert to everything happening. Pro surfers at a recent contest at Pipeline said they were terrified all day.

It is part of the allure of surfing. Its not a cake walk. It’s for adrenaline junkies but it also takes a calm assurance and confidence when the conditions are alarming. It tells you who you are. It is an area where you personally can check your mettle. How far can you go? What risks are you willing to take. Can you succeed?


See posts for beginners/intermediates at https://plus.google.com/surfboardsoceanside

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