The perception society once had of the culture of surfing is very different from what it is today. Once frowned upon as an alternative lifestyle, it has grown and evolved into a flourishing sub culture accessible to everyone aspiring to live by the surfing code.
What has changed? On the global stage, for the elite few, surfing has become a paid profession. These surfing role models continue to push the boundaries and pull off what was once believed to be the impossible. This new breed of competitive surfer can no longer rely purely on surfing ability alone. A balanced lifestyle, optimum physical fitness, and mental sharpness are key.
In addition, the pace of life seems to have increased. Hurtling into the age of technology, with a smarphone firmly attached to the hip it leaves one wishing there was an 8th day in the week. Many have discovered that surfing has the ability to help achieve a greater balance in life. Once in the ocean one’s clouded mind clears as if a mist has lifted. There is no wifi or cellular connectivity and you are all alone. It is you, your surfboard and that next wave. You are in charge of which wave to catch and the decision maker on how to ride your wave. There is no time to think about work, impending deadlines or office politics as your next wave is waiting.
Today the immense health benefits of surfing have been adopted by many schools as parents and teachers have witnessed first hand the enormous benefit that surfing has on children’s physical and mental well being. Many kids will never reach school sporting stardom, however, when they ride that first wave to the beach they are immediately filled with a great sense of acheivement and are excited to get the next wave! Many children find their sporting niche in surfing.
Previously one could spot a surfer by his or her clothes, absence of footwear, sandy feet and surf jargon but today they are all around us, many wearing their wetsuits underneath the coroporate atire. Surfing has not only spread positive change in the work environment but has also entered many homes becoming an intergenerational experience enabling moms and dads to relate and connect with their kids.
Surfing has become a lifestyle, accessible to everyone regarless of age, gender or ability. Regardless of whether you are ripping it up at the back line or floundering in the foamies you are sharing the same stoke and are part of the same tribe.