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Fixing Those Surf Stoke Killers

Photo Megan Hemsworth

It happens to the best of us, from time to time we just lose out motivation to get in the surf.

It can be a number of reasons and you’re definitely not alone in feeling like your surf stoke suffers from time to time. We investigate the biggest surf stoke killers with our SurfGirl office team and here are the things that kill our good vibes.

Surf Stoke Killer:
When it’s hard to paddle out and you are putting loads into trying to get out and end up tired and frustrated before you have even sat upright on your board. It’s those days when the sets just keep breaking bang in front of you and because I’m not duck-diving I have to turtle roll or jump off the board, get back on and then the next set is right in front of me again. It gets exhausting. 

How to get stoke back:
To just take a second to bob around in the water, get my breath back and take in my surroundings. Sometimes I work myself up so by taking a minute to just let the broken waves happen, a break will eventually come or if not then I can get the energy and strength back to tackle it and get out back eventually.

Surf Stoke Killer:
Ok so this happened to me recently – I went to catch a wave, freaked out and completely wiped out. This is all good and part of learning and surfing but the killer is that a couple of teenage boys in the water nearby were laughing out loud. I was then so embarrassed that I didn’t have the guts to turn around and try again.

How to get stoke back:
I got out the water, head hung low and walked across the beach to get home. Halfway I decided to get back in the water further down from where they were. I didn’t want them to decide whether I was having fun or not and to determine when I would be getting out. I wanted to end on a high and got back in the water for just 10 more minutes and had a good time.

Surf Stoke Killer:
Cold weather and rain, the idea of walking down to the beach or going outside when it’s freezing and wet is a horrible idea to me, especially if you have the heating or the fire on.

How to get stoke back:
I think about how much fun the surf is going to be and how much better I’m going to feel for it. Going for a warm up or running down to the beach helps me a lot as I just want to jump into the sea after to cool down!

Surf Stoke Killer:
Arrogant or rude surfers, there’s nothing worse than someone laughing at you or being rude to you when you’re just trying to have a good time and improve your surfing. (Most people are lovely, however).

How to get stoke back:
I usually just think to myself that everyone started somewhere! There must be something wrong if they find it funny that someone is trying to better themselves at surfing. Or I paddle a bit further away. Everyone should just be nice to each other, there’s no need for arrogance and bitterness anywhere, let alone in the sea! Everyone’s just trying to have fun! 

Surf Stoke Killer:
Really strong wind, offshore or onshore. I hate it with a passion and in fact, I hate strong offshore wind the most. I can never get into the waves even when I paddle my heart out. It frustrates me so much and I usually end up standing up and just getting blow back off the wave, dodging my surfboard as it flaps around in the air.

How to get my stoke back:
Sometimes I will compromise the size of the surf for someone a little more sheltered. If the wind strength can’t be avoided, I will try and sit further in and just get the smaller reforming waves. Also, in these kinds of surf, I chuck all expectation to actually do anything out the window and just enjoy bobbing around in the ocean.

Surf Stoke Killer:
Bad vibes in the surf, especially during the summer months. Yes it gets busy and there are more people out in the water who are still learning the basics but I cannot stand it when the odd few surfers ruin it for everyone else by hassling, shouting or showing threatening behaviour. There is no need for so much negativity.

How to get my stoke back:
As much as I would love to be brave enough to tell these people to shut up and cheer up, I a sadly am not haha! Which often leaves me no other option than to paddle away and rid myself of the negative energy. I have no time for surrounding myself with these vibes and I would rather surf down the beach, off the main peak if it means I can share the waves with people who are there for a good time not to confrontation.

Surf Stoke Killer:
When you’ve not been surfing so much like over a long winter and then not feeling very fit and knowing it’s going to be a really hard work getting back into it. 

How to get my stoke back:
Going to the gym, doing yoga regularly, increasing my upper arms strength and core. That makes me feel fitter and stronger, then it all comes together a bit easier.

Surf Stoke Killer:
I have to admit I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to big waves and I’m much happier in smaller surf. So sometimes when the waves are too big but you know you need to push yourself and don’t, that’s a real surf stoke killer.

How to get my stoke back:
Starting to feel more confident in my comfort zone, then heading out the back and getting some of the smaller ones and having an amazing time. Sometimes baby steps is the way to go. Recently I had some lessons with Mike at Escape Surf School to help improve my confidence and unlearn some bad habits I’ve picked up. It really helped and made me feel more confident, I’m definitely going back for some more lessons over the summer, it really helps. 

Surf Stoke Killer:
Suddenly being out of my comfort zone in the water – like if the conditions change and it gets too big / rippy for me etc

How to get stoke back:
Not just panicking and getting out! Taking some time to breathe, and running through things logically in my head – is it actually beyond my abilities or can I handle it. Sometimes it’s just a case of paddling to a different area. If I’ve gone in the water with someone else talking to them.

Surf stoke killer:
The sandy, smelly, wet wetsuit that I left festering in my bucket from the last time I went in

How to get stoke back:
This one is very preventable and has a simple solution but I always do it – I guess you always pay for it too. Remembering to at least hang it up when I get home – and putting it on at the last possible minute before getting in haha

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