Learning to surf isn’t easy. Learning to surf as an adult is arguably even harder. Trying to balance family commitments and a full time job, coupled with fitness which just ain’t what it used to be, can turn some of the most enthusiastic people away from the idea. Although learning to surf as an adult may sometimes appear unreachable – it’s not! In fact, it’s never too late to start surfing. With so many benefits of learning to surf as an adult, now is as good a time as any other.

Enjoying the Challenge

As we get older, we tend to feel more comfortable in our daily lives. We get into familiar routines and this is something we find comfort in. We forgot that challenging ourselves is fundamental to human growth. The more we challenge ourselves, the more we become confident in our ability to succeed. Age or ability may seem like a limit, but challenging your limits is how you will thrive, both physically and mentally.

As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge. ~ Henry Van Dyke

That’s why learning to surf as an adult is so important! If you don’t know where to start, a good place is to first set goals. Start with the most fundamental goal – getting a board and getting out into the water. If you have achieved that, well done! Then it’s time to push the bar a little higher. Develop achievable challenges that are tailored to YOU. Trying to surf like the pros within your first few months or years of learning to surf will only lead to dismay. Surfing is a journey, not a race. Enjoy it.

Passing the Stoke onto Your Family and Friends

If you don’t live close to the beach, holidays are a great time to learn to surf as an adult and a perfect avenue to get your family and friends involved. Try having an hour group lesson for some fun. If that’s not your thing or within your budget, hiring boards are an affordable way for everyone to get a taste of the magic that is surfing. Keep in mind that surfing is a sport that takes a lot of commitment and hours in the water to improve. A few days at the beach won’t see you shredding any 5 foot waves anytime soon. However, it is a priceless way of building meaningful memories with your kids, partner or friends while having a bloody good time (and gaining some serious upper body strength too!).

Adult learning to surf excited riding wave

If you are already hitting the waves and are keen to get your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife to join in, be prepared. Jumping on a surfboard for the first time can be a frustrating feat for anyone. Make the process as easy as possible for them:

  • Have the right beginner size surfboard for them to learn on – Something 9’0″ or above usually does the trick for most adults.
  • Give simple clear instructions – Don’t get too technical. Make this process as simple as you can for them.
  • Be nice – Learning to surf is about having fun. You don’t want to discourage your partner before they have barely even begun (lots of high 5’s help here)

The Mental and Physical Benefits

I am not going to harp on too much about the mental and physical benefits of learning to surf as an adult because there are so many! Start surfing and watch your cardiovascular fitness drastically improve while your core, leg, shoulder and back strength increase. Surfing is also a low impact sport which means it is perfect for adults.

On the mental health side of things, surfing will take you to another level. There is no real stress relief that parallels with surfing. And as you continue to achieve each of your goals, this addictive sport will lead to an unavoidable, overwhelming sense of euphoria. Take up surfing and you will truly understand the meaning of surf stoke.

Learning to surf as an adult is a process that requires commitment and perseverance. I can guarantee you will have many a day where you feel as though you are not cut out for the sport or that you simply cannot do it. Be reassured – the reward for those who overcome this mental barrier is truly phenomenal.

Get out there and try, then try again and again and again. Like the waves of the sea, learning to surf is a journey with many ebbs and flows. But once you find your stoke, there’s no turning back.