15 surprising and powerful life lessons I’ve learned while surfing


Kent writes: 1. Getting out there is the hardest part. There are always a million reasons not to do something. These justifications of inaction are very easy to find – especially when the conditions are not immediately inviting. The reality is, there are always hassle factors and rewards involved in every pursuit. It’s all a matter of what to focus on. In many cases, the hardest jam to push through is the jam framing your front door. Once in motion, however, regret rarely follows. This can’t be said for inaction.

2. The best waves require more travel. Each of my favorite top 10 surfing spots are over 1,000 miles from my front door. Making the trek and reaping these exceptional rewards is a real commitment that involves planning and preparation. Some people are fortunate enough to be closer, but they, too, must travel far and wide for other exceptional opportunities of a different nature. There are often nearby, more convenient options (the low hanging fruit), but many times these offer lackluster results. If you want remarkable rewards, be prepared to go the distance.

3. Opportunity comes in bursts. Anyone who surfs knows that the best quality waves arrive in ‘sets.’ These are often groups of 7 waves at a time with the final wave being the biggest. Obviously, waves provide the opportunity to surf, but the lesson here is clear: the best of the best are not allotted in a constant flow. Sometimes you must wait, passing on the good so you’re ready for the great. You have to position yourself through preparation and proactive measures to make the most of opportunities while the window is open.


3 years ago

Thanks for posting this, I really enjoyed it.

3 years ago

I would add to this a personal life lesson that I have gained from surfing. That is a different relationship to fear. I still experience fear in and out of the water. But I have gotten more used to the feeling and I am not as reflexively averse to it. I've gotten hold downs, cuts, bruises, broken bones, and plenty of verbal abuse in the water. But I'm still here. Surfing the best in my life at 49 years old. Which is not that great by most standards. But I'm up to 10 foot OB and ready for more. Yay! Surfing!

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