Whether you are a first-timer or a lifetime surfer, a weekend warrior or an everyday surfer, an all-fun easy breezy surfer or on the world tour professional path, the best surfer in the water is the one who never forgets what surfing is really all about.

So, what is surfing really about?

Surf in Playa Grande, Costa Rica

This is what surfing is all about! | © Ryan Smith

We’ve all likely been in the water with someone who is aggressive, feels entitled, is ego-driven and all and all just disrupts the peace and bliss that most of us seek when we are surfing. There’s a least one at every break, whether it’s a local or a bad-attitude visitor. It is these types of surfers that bring the question ‘why do we surf’ to the surface.

Is surfing about catching every single wave that comes your way no matter what and at the expense of the safety of others? Is surfing about puffing up your chest and letting everyone know that they better get out of your way because these waves belong to you? Is surfing about proving something?

No. It’s not.

Surf in Playa Grande, Costa Rica

This is why we surf. | © Michael Sutherland/Flickr

 

We surf because we love the ocean. We love the sacred connection we’ve formed with the sea by spending hours, days, and years out in it. We love the way that the waves undulate underneath us. We love the way the waves roll off our backs when we duck dive. We love the camaraderie and the solitude that surfing gives us. We love the challenge. We love the barrels, the set waves and the chance to dance.

We love surfing because it forces us to be present-minded, in tune with the ocean, and respectful and in-awe of the forces of nature. We love that sun-saturated, salty, noodle-arm, perma-smile feeling that a long dreamy session induces. There is no better beer, burrito or nap than a beer, burrito, or nap that follows a surf. For those of us who get it, there is no other way.

It seems that everyone wants to surf these days, and who could hardly blame them. But it is important though that we remember the rules of the game, the safety precautions of playing in the ocean, and what it is that inspired us to paddle out in the first place. If you want to be the best surfer in the sea, remember why it is that you surf and stay true to the true spirit of surfing.