5 Life Lessons Learned from Surfing – Dominican Republic Surf Camp
The Dominican Republic is a gorgeous tropical paradise with waves along most of its coasts. Everyday we paddle out into warm turquoise blue water at Playa Encuentro on the North Coast and look out into the vast ocean. Coconut and almond trees growing from the golden sand on the shore behind us, clear water beneath us, and the deep blue sea ahead, it’s no wonder why we contemplate life with a clear and focused mind while we surf. The longer you surf, the more you realize how much your surf story relates to your life story. Here is just 5 life lessons learned from surfing, please share your own lessons in the comments below.
1. Surfing is a Journey
It takes trying for hours, days, weeks, months, before you finally feel comfortable with the board under your feet. Even when you’re a pro surfer, you need to like the challenge and getting to the beach everyday. They say “Happiness is a Journey, not a destination”; it’s the same thing with surf, it’s about loving each wave, each swell, every moment in the water, every part of the process.
2. You will Wipe-Out
Getting good takes time, dedication, and a positive attitude. Everyone’s learn-to-surf story begins with not knowing what they were doing and lots of falling in every hilarious and sometimes scary way. In the beginner stage every wave attempt ends with losing balance and face-flopping into the water, just like our first steps as babies. Soon we get better and start to have more style on a wave but our own movements can cause us to lose balance. As advanced surfers, mistakes and wipe-outs happen less, but the ocean is unpredictable and more powerful waves means scarier wipe-outs. The point is everyone makes mistakes but it’s all part of it, accepting that we will fail sometimes.
3. It Takes Patience to Wait for the Right Wave
Part of the zen we feel while surfing happens while staring out into the horizon, half zoned out taking in the beauty, half hunting for your wave. In calm anticipation we watch for signs of waves, reading the lines coming our direction for one that is juuust right. Waves come in clusters and the best waves will build up and come together, called the set. We like the set waves, they’re cleaner, bigger, and offer longer rides than the filler waves in between. The ability to wait patiently without getting upset or anxious is a desirable characteristic in a person and surf shows us just how to do it.
4. The Ocean is Unpredictable
Even though we might wait for the right wave, sometimes a monster set comes (seemingly) out of nowhere, you paddle back as hard as you can to avoid getting crushed and BOOM! one of three things happen: 1-Instead of riding that perfect wave you were waiting for you’re underwater feeling it push and pull you and your board as it passes by, 2- you’re in the wrong position to catch it, or 3- by what feels like fate, patience, and luck you’ve found yourself exactly in the right place at the right time to catch the wave of the day. Life is full of surprises sometimes good, and sometimes disappointing, and sometimes heavy crushers.
5. Go for it!
Waves come in all shapes and sizes, one thing they all have in common: waves aren’t going to ride themselves. Often as a beginner we are unsure of which waves to paddle for. When you don’t really know what’s what, how do you find out? Just keep trying and doing your best. As we improve we might know how to choose waves better, but the waves we want start to become more difficult to ride. How do you get better at riding difficult waves? -Paddle into them! Opportunities in life come whether you’re looking for them or not, when they show up, don’t be afraid to wipe out, go for it!
We appreciate you sharing the life lessons you learned while surfing below 😀