The three of us have always had an adventurous spirit– it’s not uncommon for us to just jump in the car on the spur of the moment and head off on a surfing road-trip. We surf because there is a certain level of adventure and there is simply nothing as thrilling as catching a wave and riding it to the beach. The roar of a wave rushing in your ear and the water murmuring beneath you is hard to capture with words, but there is certainly a release in surfing – one that frees you from the stress of the rat race, one that takes you back to basics. Progressing from a beginner, to a white water surf in to the beach, to trying out more advanced tricks and manoeuvers is incredibly satisfying and there’s a real pride and satisfaction to trying and achieving something new…not to mention that there’s no better cure for a hangover than surfing on a cold winter’s day!
We love surfing for many reasons and it’s pretty much the only thing that will get us out of bed that early out of choice, but one of the most enjoyable parts is in the unpredictability of it. There’s a beautiful freedom and a relentless vulnerability in being a tiny human at the mercy of the waves. You’re reminded of your place in the world – no longer are you a part of functioning society, no longer are you tied to the responsibilities and obligations of being human, instead you’re just a mammal floating in the sea; it’s the ultimate form of escape. You spend a substantial amount of time paddling around in an unnatural environment, yet it feels like there is nowhere on earth more at home. Sitting out with the sun shining on your neck, either alone with your thoughts or with your friends, there is a headspace out there that you don’t get on dry land. You are perpetually challenging yourself, having to focus all your attention on your surroundings, pushing yourself to the limit, noticing how the oceans breathe. Out of the reach of conventional help, you’re on your own, then a brilliant fiery red sunset contrasts with the black-grey skies and the murky blue of the water, and you find that perfect wave, you drop down the face and it’s worth every second.
We would encourage anyone to give surfing a go. Even if you don’t feel like you would be very good at it, it doesn’t matter as half the fun is simply being out there with the ocean. You can check www.magicseaweed.com to get a rough idea of what the waves are doing and there are even webcams so that you can get to know different surf spots. West Wittering can be a great spot if you catch it when the waves are right. The surfer community is different wherever you go, but trust us, most are friendly and willing to help beginners! Take heed of advice when you get it – it is more than likely to be priceless. They were in your shoes once too, they know how it feels and want to help.
Once you get hooked, you’re hooked for life. Every cold flush down your wetsuit, every excruciating squeeze into a soaked wetsuit while it’s blowing a gale and freezing cold, every sharp stabbing pain in your feet from making your way down to the water’s edge; it’s all worth it. There’s no better way to end a day than with salty hair and sandy skin, the taste of a cold beer afterwards, the ache after a hard surf and the anticipation of doing it all again tomorrow.