We may be biased but learning to surf has got to be one of the best things you could do, not only for your body but for your mind as well, like totally.
So today I dedicate this piece to reasons to learn to surf because in a world that’s getting crazier by the minute (if the last year is anything to go by) it seems best to take the time to slow down, sink your feet into the sand and breathe in the salty air.
While trying not to use the same nauseating “ad speak” that is commonly seen with surf holidays, learning to surf really is one of the rarely special experiences you can have. An experience that will continue to provide spectacular, breath taking moments for the rest of your life (if you stick to it).
Surfing is a very physical sport that engages your entire body, often helping you “discover” muscles you never knew you had. After the first few days you’ll be left with that satisfying post workout ache. It’s one of the rare activities that works your upper body, core, lower body, flexibility and stamina all at the same time. Paddling against the waves gets the blood pumping and improves aerobic fitness too. You’ll be strengthening and toning your muscles as well as increasing your lung capacity as your surfing improves. The best part? You’ll be having so much fun you will barely notice!
2. MENTAL HEALTH
Have you ever noticed that surfers generally seem to be more chill? That stereotype isn’t far off and there is scientific evidence to back it up. Depression and anxiety are at an all time high for Millennials as well as low self-esteem and confidence to name a few. In 2010 the NHS conducted a six week trial with young people suffering from mental health issues learning to surf on the beautiful coastline of Cornwall, South West England. The results were indisputable, with the participants ending the six weeks with a much more positive outlook on life and significant improvements in self-esteem. It’s true, the stoke is real.
3. THE BEACH
If you’ve ever gone for a walk by the sea or spent the day at the beach you will know that content, skin tingly, happy feeling after hours of breathing in the salty air. It helps improve your sleep cycles and serotonin levels because the air particles close to the ocean are charged with negative ion particles that speed up our body’s ability to absorb oxygen and balance hormones. To top it all off absorbing all those Vitamin D rays is great for your immune system and bone strength.
There’s something about learning to do something, especially a tricky sport like surfing, with a group of like minded others that really creates a bond. Sharing the challenging wade back out through the waves and then the moment of elation when you stand up for the first time is such a unique experience that friendships are formed pretty quickly. Then there is the post surf debrief over a beer which only solidifies said bond and you’ll find you can be part of a whole community of fellow frothers before you know it.
If you learn to surf you will open up a whole new world of exploring possibilities. The list of amazing surf locations is a big one, whether you want warm water waves where no wetsuit is required or powerful swells that send you flying through the water. There is an abundant choice and if you have a serious case of wanderlust (like most surfers have in their blood) then surf culture is the one for you.