We recently came across an article at UpliftConnect.com that talked with surfers young and old about the transformative, other-worldly power of riding the ocean’s waves. The article, titled “Why Surfing is Addictive”, went into the how and why of what makes surfers hooked on this incredible sport in a way some might call, well, an obsession.
Anyone who has woken up before the sun to scout out the waves, driven for hours to hit that swell just right, and gone to work with salty hair and sandy toes, understands the compelling power of the surf!
Here at Pura Vida Adventures we have a life-long love of riding waves, and we love hooking others on the rush of surfing.
We decided to get some thoughts from our awesome alumni on what makes surf stoke such a passionate and palpable thing. Happy reading, happy surfing, and may the stoke be with you for years to come!
“For me there are two aspects to surfing that made me fall in love. That moment of solitude floating on your board on the outside just taking that moment all in, it’s peaceful and exhilarating all at once. Then there is that feeling that shoots through you when you catch your first wave, you feel so empowered and all you want is that feeling again and again and again, that’s how surfing gets ya!” —Ashley Wootton, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
“There is a culture to surfing that I’d say is addictive. It’s the soccer of the sea. No matter where you travel, the fundamentals of the sport are the same. Show up with nothing, because a board can be found close by. It’s athletic, yet relaxing and tranquil. When you’re in the water, little else matters. —Tyler Rygus, Calgary, Alberta Canada
“It is the perfect combination of challenging athleticism, the incredible ocean, and fun with girlfriends. I love paddling out with my daughters or girlfriends and we love showing off for each other. Whether I catch one wave or twenty, surfing days are the best days…” —Andrea Salmi, San Rafael, California
“There’s this calm feeling you get when you are sitting on the outside scanning the horizon with wave hungry eyes, patiently waiting for some excitement to come your way… and when it does you suddenly turn on full force to dig deep and paddle hard as possible to catch the wave. And when you finally catch your wave the feeling of the loose drop and of skimming the face of the wave is absolutely exhilarating, it’s akin to flying. No matter how short or long the ride, you fall from the wave with a giddy heart, determined to get back to the outside for another no matter how exhausted you are. After a surf there’s the salty hair and a memory of each blissful wave to replay over and over in your mind. I haven’t been able to surf much the past few years and I miss it like heck!! But I have lots of waves stored up in my memory bank to re-live any time I need! “—Erika Gueverra Blackwell, Eureka, California
“When I’m surfing I feel free! Its the ultimate meditation.” —Tara Averill, Madiera Beach, Florida and Santa Teresa, Malpais, Costa Rica
“I think what addicted me to surfing was the community of slightly whacky people who are willing to jump in the sea wearing rubber in any weather in the UK, and also being immersed in nature in such a playful way. It meets so many needs all in one go. Once I’d experienced that combination of connection, belonging, play, freedom, beauty, self-expression and healthy exercise all in one go, I wanted it as often as possible.” —Rachel Lewis, Plymouth, Devon, England
“I saw a news clip the other day of a woman surfer who narrowly escaped an attack by a great white shark on a break in California. Instead of biting off her leg, he took a chunk out of her board. She was very lucky. And what did she have to say about it? ‘The worst part was, I didn’t get any waves.’ Yes, it sounds crazy, but from one addict to another, I knew just how she felt.” — Rebecca Bly, Washington, DC
Some might call it crazy, an obsession, or an addiction, but we know it for it’s true name: STOKE. No matter what lengths you go to score those waves, surfing will be sure to bring you joy, excitement, challenges, triumphs, meditation, lessons about life, and new friends for years to come.
Get out there, and embrace the power of the surf stoke!