Just want to hear opinions from other surfers about their thoughts of the surfing lifestyle. I think surfing is like an addictive drug that kinda takes over your life and is way too addictive. It seems like a persons whole outlook on life becomes based on surf weather and catching waves whenever possible. Is this common or am I getting too obsessed?
If you like a certain type of wave addiction can definitely become real. All you need is one genuine bomb, and bingo, instant adrenalin hit. Some waves have the ability to always offer anyone, no matter how good they are, a genuinely testing situation during a session. For example, lots of my friends and I would go up to caves, which is a beautiful wave, but no matter how good it was breaking, we would get sick of it in a few days, and be looking for more genuine grunt. No adrenalin.
The problem becomes, like anything addictive, that it takes more and more to do the trick. Which depending on ability, and built up tolerance, becomes ridiculous. One mate, who was virtually fearless, told me about a particularly horrific session with photographer Bill Morris at the womb, where he suddenly realised that things were getting out of hand, and that he needed to think about whether or not the risk was worth the buzz.
Thanks Uplift. I never thought about the adrenaline being a factor in the addiction. Now I can understand some things such as why surfing bigger waves seems to cheer me up out of bad moods. I have noticed that if I start surfing in an angry frame that after catching a few big sets that my mood changes for the better. Instead of drugs its waves. The size dictates the fix or dosage. When I don't get to surf for over a week I sink into a shitty mood like a smoker suffering withdrawals. I never gave the thought that I am addicted to adrenaline.
What an insightful analysis Upskirt, you couldn't have answered that question better if you had asked it yourself.
Shaun, are you insinuating that upskirt would invent another poster so he can answer his own questions, that's just sad. love your work shaun.
Funny Shaun. Nah, I posted my question and Uplift posted his opinion. I surf in Vic. I don't even know where caves is or ever heard of it. Anyway funny posts, gotta laugh.
Lonesurfa, it's easy. When you think surfer, think of a stick dog, obsession ,pack mentality and of course the cocking of the leg to mark his territory.
it definitely can be either a good addiction or bad addiction. i have had good electrical apprenticeships overlooking bondi and on good se swells cant help but wonder what the island is doing and lost all motivation for the job. also these days with being able to check all your favorite waves conditions and forget about all the shit you should be doing.
However some of it imo is not staying true to what YOU want. like i used to be into big waves as my mates were but id rather longer barrels at 5-6 foot than raw big short mushburgers.Or work hard for 6 months a year and travel to somewhere better.
thats a thing with surfing some world class waves, its easy to lose motivation for what you already had or live near at home.
The same for technology and stepping up with all these new gadgets. Do we really need them all? How would we go with stepping back to 1970?
Solution imo is be happy with what you have. Live simpler.Fuxk these gadgets off.
Surfing 1-2ft peelers on a mal is at much fun as the worlds best barrels sometimes. in a more relaxing chill out way.
I think it's very addictive and I'm a slave to it.
Is this a bad thing? I don't think so as it keeps me fit (there's no need for any other running/cycling/gym visits etc) you keep in touch with the weather/ocean a lot more being in it nearly every day and also meet some great people out there in the drink.
Sometimes it can get in the way of other day to day tasks and if there's a flat spell for a few days I get a bit edgy but having a full quiver keeps you mobile most days of the year here on the East Coast from 0.5ft to 6-8ft.
There's worse things you could be addicted to, but I think that general addiction to exercise/endorphins/adrenaline is the main reason I surf nearly every day.
Plus it's too much bloody fun!
Of course it's a great thing. Much better than 'The Tennis Lifestyle' or 'The Cricket Lifestyle'.
It's not a good thing for my bank balance, I'm a self employed tradie and I've done sweet fa this week except drive around looking for waves, scored a few gooduns though (smiley face)
It's certainly an addiction. I was addicted to smoking for about 8 years and the withdrawals I experienced during the first 2 months of quitting were not at all dissimilar to what I feel like when I haven't had a good surf in a while.
I've been spending upwards of 6 months a year in Indonesia for the last five years and am currently going through all sorts of internal battles about what the fuck I am doing with my life. I've got a promising future in academia (focused on Indonesia, no accident), a rewarding, engaging job with flexible hours and decent pay and things are going pretty well with a lovely new girl I am seeing. And I'm just about ready to throw it all away again for surf. It drives my mother crazy.
I am craving that really raw experience of surfing on the frontier in Indo, searching for waves, spending upwards for 5 hours a day in the water... the possibilities of a surfing life for me there are endless and I get a crazy caffeine like buzz when I think about it - I get so desperate to get back that I have to go out for a run to calm down. I've got a frame on my wall which holds two pictures; one of me on a big board at Outside Corner on a 10 foot + day and one of a perfect empty line-up out in the islands, a barrelling right hander just reeling for 100's of meters. That sort of surfing experience just doesn't exist for me where I live now - when I look at those pictures I just think 'That is where I need to be.. What the fuck am I doing here?!'
I'm totally addicted.
This surf addiction can really suck when waves don't turn up. Scheduling life with waves as a priority can cause mega havoc. I think if waves were always consistent and %100 predictable then it would be a lot easier all round. Chasing the perfect waves for pleasure is like a carrot on a stick that you only get to nibble on occasions while competing with the flies. If only there were an abundance of mechanical offshore overhead waves everyday. Life would be sweet and easy. I wouldn't be complaining. But then again I would be like a stoner with the keys to the plantation.
I just checked my navel and found it full of lint, I guess I've stack on a few kgs since I last looked.
Had my first surf in 1973 and been addicted ever since.
Unlike a lot of other things the love and feel for catching a wave, big or small, never leaves you.
But the surfing addiction isn't bad for you.
Except for the neck pain, and shoulder niggles, and sore back, and...... shit I think I'll take up smoking again.
As an older surfer, it was very addictive for the first 5-10 years, but has settled in. It has become part of my life, but not really addictive like it used to be; however, I appreciate it as much as ever and yes, the occasional bomb is still quite a thrill. I find it compelling that after 25 years of surfing, I don't feel as though I'm jaded at all. I love it, even the days that aren't so good. Still surf on a shorty and don't expect that to ever change. Surfing has taken me all over the world and I've met some incredible people. I feel very fortunate that it is such a big part of my life.
Ever wondered about the risks of putting all your eggs in the one basket?
Its great to read some posts from other surfers. Some inny navel gazing has made me realize that I am happily addicted, but at times can get frustrated when ideal surf conditions, eg. weather and crowds make it less than an ideal interest. When I got into surfing, I was able to quit an unhealthy lifestyle and found a natural high and never turned back. I just forgot that it was the thing that turned my life around. Now that I have been surfing for over 12 years it has become so normal that I have forgotten what I used to be and where I was heading. So I guess it is another escape, but a far better one. I have learnt so many lessons from surfing. Life lessons, I have learnt to be focused, due to watching other surfers who are dedicated getting choice waves. I have found humility from waves that let you surf like a pro, to waves that just buck you off to remind you not to get too cocky. Hero to zero. I have also found that I don't really desire material wealth as much as I would prefer just great waves to ride. Great waves can't be bought but only earned through dedication to the art of surfing. I don't know if other surfers have had this sort of experience but I have realized why I am addicted. I guess my next lesson will have to be moderation and not to be too phased when I miss epic days and just be happy that I have been able to get to a stage in surfing that I am content. Obsession is unhealthy.....Well maybe.
As for the eggs in the one basket. As long as nothing breaks or goes rotten I suppose. I have other interests like motorbikes and guitar, but these seem like fill ins. The surf conditions tends to dictate my Bliss. Which I think may be one of the most annoying things about the hobby. I see it in the faces of other surfer's when the lulls are too long or when the swell is just bad quality. Adrenaline cold turkey?
Yep. everyone loves surfing. Some really hardcore fellas do push it a bit far though, like camel living in the jungle for a few years and getting banned from indo.
Its good to have other interests and its not likely if you push it that far you will meet the girl of your dreams, or hear some great music etc living like that eating seaweed and fish etc..not dissing Camel. Just he and others who did that sort of thing missed out on a lot of other good things in life, to live like that.Kudos to them it takes balls and deserves a lot of respect.
Ps- not sure what i was on about with the technology and gadgets, i was drinking rum :)
Yep I reckon surfing is akin to escapism. Surfing makes me not want to work..just makes me want to road trip search...but then reality bites and I face another day at the coal face..hanging out for weekends when every bastard has the same idea. set me free so I can enjoy this life..there is a lot to say for the bush humpy eating brown rice dreadlocked non voting grow your own kinda life with a pumping right visible through the gums..then I could just go surfing...see escapism..I rest my case.
Wow salty I never quite looked at it that way.
But you are 110% right in what you say.
Ta oldman..glad you see my logic..thank you..I take it you understand that life should be lived.
Some real good replies here! But just on a Adelaide surfer and surf photographers note, being a surf addict whilst living in Adelaide is the equivalent to some sort of lock up... :(
It's a good thing, an obsession, and escapism in equal parts. Over analysis of the past and fear of the future are things that can twist minds into knots. Surfing is one of the few things that resets my brain and allows me to at least temporarily exist in and for the moment.
Bit of a tangent but for years I've hated public speaking. New job required me to do plenty of it. Somewhere along the way I decided to approach it in the same way as surfing ie throw yourself into the takeoff but don't get too far ahead of yourself, deal with the next section when or if it appears, and know where your body is at. Surfing taught me that. My act is far from motivational speaking circuit level, but at least now I'm not crapping my dacks before and during. Funny how such an addictive act of escapism can sometimes enable you to deal directly with a work world issue...
Good question Ionesurfa,
Is the surf lifestyle a good thing, Yes.
Or is it an obsession similar (Akin) to escapism. Yes, from reality.
Then there is addiction, healthy addiction is great.
What about adrenalin? adrenalin is one of the best natural drug Ive experienced (except DMT) , but adrenalin has to be managed properly and some people can't do that safely.
So I reckon if you love surfing as a lifestyle, that is addictive and full of adrenalin it is an obsession to escapism.
Great isn't it (life)