You know those days when you have an amazing surf? Everything just goes perfectly, you get out back without getting knackered, you score some great waves, you feel like you actually know what you’re doing? And wish you’d had someone on the beach taking pictures to prove it!
And then you have those surfs where you miss easy waves, smack yourself in the face with your board, decide you are the worst surfer ever and wonder why on earth you’re wasting your time on something you will never ever be good at…
Yep, I have both of those on a fairly regular basis.
I was talking to one of my mates the other day (who I rate as a really good surfer) about this and was relieved to discover I’m not the only one who regularly has a terrible surf.
On further exploration, turns out pretty much everyone I know who surfs goes through what we’ve now come to call the surfers’ cycle.
I often have a particularly bad surf when I go out in surf that’s just too big for me. I think it’ll be ok, especially if I’ve had a few good surfs recently, then I get my ass handed to me and come out with more sand in my wetsuit that there is on the beach and often more than just a bruised ego.
It also tells me if I’m too tired or not as fit as I’d like. I miss waves that I should get on easily and I start to make stupid mistakes, then I know it’s time to get out before I hurt myself or worse, someone else.
So the cycle’s quite useful for reminding me to respect the ocean.
But sometimes you’re just rubbish for no reason. It makes you think you should give up surfing altogether. And even worse it can stop you from wanting to go again.
But you need to just chalk those bad surfs up as experience and carry on anyway, because according to the surfers’ cycle, it will always get better again.
If you’ve had a particularly bad run of late, it’s time to take stock and make sure your next surf is a good one.
How to come back from a run of bad surfs…
Remember, it might not be you… it could be the board you’re riding, it could be that the waves on the last few surfs were just terrible onshore mush, or it was really busy and you didn’t feel confident enough to paddle for waves. It could be any number of things but it’s like falling off a horse, the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to get back in.
First rule to remember is do not go out in big waves, really messy waves or try to ride a tiny board – it will not help!
Pick a day with small waves. I’m talking waist to chest high, max. If your regular beach is too big find somewhere more sheltered or facing a different direction, or if you can, just wait for a day with mellower waves. If you’re away, ask the locals if there’s somewhere else a bit more suited to learners (I know you’re not learning but believe me it’ll help)
Once you’ve found your mellow waves, get a big, fat board, even a swelly will do, and go out and score as many waves as you can. It will feel like a dream, and you’ll remember why you love surfing so much. It doesn’t matter if everyone else out there is a learner in the whitewater, I promise you it will bring back your stoke and make you feel like an awesome surfer.
We’d love to hear about your surfers’ cycle and what you do to come back from bad run. Let us know in the comments below!