Riding the Waves in Your Mid-Thirties: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Surfing

Riding the Waves in Your Mid-Thirties: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Surfing

Are you in your mid-thirties and dreaming of riding the waves? It's never too late to start learning to surf. With the right mindset, you can embark on an exciting journey that brings joy, personal growth, and a deeper connection with nature. Having started surfing in my mid-thirties, I've had an epic journey and here are a few things I wish I knew before I started:

  1. Surfing is Addictive:

Be prepared to get addicted to surfing. Once I caught my first wave, I was hooked! Surfing has become a lifelong passion, providing happiness, adventure, and personal growth. My addiction runs deep—I've even made significant lifestyle changes to improve my surfing. I relocated to one of the most consistent surf spots in the world and optimized my exercise, sleep, and nutrition to be the best surfer I can be. Surfing is an amazing addiction I wish upon everyone!

  1. Embrace the Slow Learning Curve:

Surfing is the hardest sport due to constantly changing conditions. Learning to surf takes time and patience. Be prepared for challenges and setbacks. Embrace the slow learning process, set frustration aside, stay persistent, and celebrate even the smallest victories along the way.

  1. Fitness and Flexibility Matter:

Surfing requires fitness and strength. Paddling, standing up on the board, and maintaining balance while riding waves demand physicality. Before surfing, I wasn't a fan of physical activity. During my first attempts, I felt like a baby hippo attempting ballet and tripping over its own shadow! To progress in surfing, work on your fitness, flexibility, and engage in exercises that strengthen your core, upper body, and legs. Regular stretching routines enhance agility and help prevent injuries.

  1. Surfing is a Mental Game:

Surfing is mentally challenging. It requires focus, concentration, and control over fears. You'll need to learn to read waves, choose the right spot, time your paddling, and take-off. Stay calm and focused, especially when facing bigger waves, crowded lineups, and wipeouts.

  1. Be Mentally Prepared for Wipeouts:

Wipeouts are inevitable in surfing. Mentally prepare yourself for falls and wipeouts—they're part of the learning process. Learn to fall safely, protect your head, and develop resilience to bounce back and continue riding the waves.

  1. Use the Right Surfboard:

Choosing the right surfboard for your skills is essential for safety and learning. As a beginner, riding a shortboard won't make you look cool—it's like attempting a Formula 1 race when learning to drive. Soft-top surfboards are stable, easier to paddle, forgiving when you fall off, and safer. Seek advice from experienced surfers or professionals when ready to buy your own surfboard.

  1. Respect the Ocean:

Safety should be your top priority. Learn about ocean safety, including rip currents, waves, tides, and navigation. Be aware of other surfers, swimmers, and marine life. Don't paddle out if conditions are too big for you—what looks big from the beach will be even bigger when you're on your surfboard.

  1. Join a Surfing Community:

Surfing is a social activity, and joining a surfing community enhances the experience. Connect with fellow surfers, beginners, and experienced, through local surf clubs, online forums, or social media groups. Sharing your journey and challenges with like-minded individuals provides support, inspiration, and learning opportunities.

  1. Choose the Right Surfing Spot:

Start your surfing journey by riding small, gentle waves. Learning on smaller waves builds confidence, helps practice balance, and develops a solid foundation before tackling larger and more challenging surf conditions. Playa Venao is a perfect spot for learning to surf, with a safe sand bottom, manageable waves, and minimal crowds.

  1. Take Lessons from Qualified Instructors:

Enroll in surf lessons with qualified instructors to accelerate the learning process. Their expertise ensures proper technique, ocean awareness, and surf etiquette. A good instructor will guide you through the basics, making your progression smoother and safer. At Venao Surf School, our Coach Anita, an Olympic surfer and certified coach with extensive experience, provides exceptional instruction.

Remember, age is just a number, and the ocean doesn't discriminate. So, get out there and ride those waves with a big smile on your face!

See you soon in the water.


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