You’re an embarrassment

Ask yourself this – if you were the only surfer out in the water, would you still feel embarrassed if you fell off on a wave?

If the answer is yes, try and stop for a moment to decipher why. As children we would run, fall, jump, skip and dive without a care in the world. But as adults we are so conscious about the opinions of others that we can often hold ourselves back.

When you’re having fun that’s all that matters! Photo courtesy Checkered Photography

The fear of ridicule is too much for some to handle and can hinder their progress in the surf. Although we shouldn’t really care if we fall off waves, if the surf is busy with competent surfers then it’s easy to feel self-conscious. But shouldn’t you be enjoying the waves without a care in the world?

Even if you answered no to these questions, but still can relate to the surfers out there who are utterly terrified of falling off in front of someone, then let’s try and overcome these fears of failure together. How about trying to embrace every time you stumble to get to your feet, nose dive over the board, or get wiped out and end up back on the beach. Because at least you are giving it a go and that is all that counts. Every surfer in the world falls off waves – on their own, in front of their peers and in view of surfers they have never seen before.

Every surfer in the world falls off waves

Live and learn. Wipeouts are a part of the surfing process. Alys Barton takes a tumble but it doesn’t stop her ripping, see below.

Falling off and wiping out is as much of a part of surfing as standing up. It’s something we need to embrace, because it’s an aspect of surfing that will be present throughout every stage. The more you surf and progress the more you will push your skills and body, and as you challenge your surfing ability with new manoeuvres, guess what? You won’t get it right every time – meaning you will still fall.
Try channelling your carefree inner child when next out in the surf. For the Friends fans out there, remember the episode when Rachel and Phoebe were running through Central Park and Phoebe ran like she did as a child? Free, unaware and unbothered by anyone watching. We should all try and be a little more like this because all that matters is having fun.

all that matters is having fun!

Alys Barton in action, Cornwall. Photos by @iwillphoto & @jeanpierre_whitfield

So, have a positive take on the mistakes you make in the water and forget worrying about what other people think. As surfers all we are really focused on is getting the next best wave, not worrying about what the person next to them is doing.