Thanks all for making me feel better about my age. I'm 38, surfing since I was 12. Just got into single fin shortboards. Only longboard when the waves require me to. A good wave still makes me feel like I'm in middle school.
"...Sometimes I question myself as to why I'm not as good as I think I should be after 2 years of surfing..."
"...Some, like me are hard headed and have high hopes that it will all come together someday and keep striving even in the face of physical decline and age."
I've only been at this 15 months, so perhaps I'm speaking out of turn. I began learning to surf later in life, but have been grateful ever since. I'd been involved in a number of other water activities throughout my life - including bodysurfing - and kept in good physical condition. So I began slowly, just enjoying being able to get out on the water. Always loved the ocean. It's easy to think, "I wish I had started surfing sooner." The ol' "woulda, coulda, shoulda". Who needs that?
You're going to have good days and bad days, hit plateaus, and maybe experience slumps that last for days - perhaps weeks - depending on how often you go out. Can't seem to do anything right. Can't get dialed in the the new, smaller board, etc. At least I did. You may think you look like a fool. Heck, maybe you do. So what? You're out there, man. You're trying. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride if you want to make any progress. It's the same with many other sports or activities: skiing, skating, windsurfing, martial arts, etc. It comes down to how much you enjoy it and what you get out of it.
Sometimes my wife will accompany me to the beach. She'll watch me struggle into my wetsuit in the wind, changing after a session, and rinsing out & hanging up my gear once at home. I've had to ask her for the Advil after more than a few sessions. "You must really love to do this," she'll comment. "You do seem generally happier, though. Oh, and by the way, keep your smelly boots in the garage."
But it goes beyond enjoyment. Not every moment out there (or getting out there) is fun. Shivering your ass off in a breezy sub-40 degrees while struggling out of a wet wetsuit and fighting (with sore and tired arms) to get the board secured on the car roof before it flies out of your hands are admittedly not a lot of fun. And yet, it's all part of it. But I feel we need the challenge, to get out there with nature and away from all the gadgets and technology - especially for those of us who don't find this type of satisfaction or a strong sense of purpose from our regular day-to-day jobs. It then becomes almost like a fix one must have. If you don't have it, you don't feel right. But once you have it, you gotta keep comin' back for more.
Anyway, I've rambled on long enough.
Enjoy the rest of the Holidays, gang, and have a happy new year.
kudos to the over-50 crowd, btw. if you're over 50, you know and i know that it's not the surfing that keeps you in shape...it's all the things you do so you can keep surfing that does it. anybody in this age bracket who still surfs has to take a proactive approach to their health, and consequently reaps the benefits (besides just the ability to surf). if you're doing it right, you get to enjoy what Doc Paskowitz refers to as "not just the absence of sickness, but a vibrant state of well-being".
so pat yourself on the back this holiday season - while most of your middle-aged peers have surrendered to the couch and ESPN, you're still a participant, not a spectator. i don't know you, but i know you when i see you and i admire you, because i know what you have to do on a daily basis to live this life.
Thanks bro! I just got in from a high tide session - choppy shoulder high with bigger peaks, steep drops with sudden endings type waves. I am sore. Got thumped on a few. Made a few nice ones. It is very rewarding to still be able to catch good fast breaking waves and ride them reasonably well. And yes, time is spent on conditioning and flexibility. Nothing is taken for granted. So it is well worth the minor aches and pains. Hope everyone is getting some nuggs out there.
Geez I thought I was old, some of you guys (and gals) are ancient sea creatures! Keep shredding!!!