Three easy steps!
The couple that surfs together . . . The answer to that is what you make it. Two close and connected people sharing an interest in the world’s most satisfying past-time should be a no-brainer: fun in the sun, rainbows and lollipops, yews and shakas. But somehow, this isn’t always the case. Still there’s more than just hope and reasons to keep at it and explore why you may have some recurring problems – so don’t throw in the towel just yet or avoid those amourous party waves.
What’s my experience like? I have high expectations for each session, probably too much expectation considering sometimes the waves aren’t the best and this can throw off a fun balance when surfing with my partner in crime. I always want improve something in my surfing in each session, like why do I do this thing with my wrists or ensure sure my wave count is high or just get walloped by a few and reset my squirrely brain. I can be my own worst enemy. Worse than that I lose the childlike curiosity and enjoyment that surfing has brought me for the past 10 years. I also find it hard to be stoked for her when she’s happier than a pig in shit. Like, hey, wha’ happened!
Below are my best tips to keep you frothing with your life mate, your partner, your bf/gf, your soulmate, “they”, whichever gender neutral, small-batch-locally-grown term you use, in the line-up and for continued good times outside it.
1. Surf the waves you want to surf
If there’s a difference in skill level between you two of you, I recommend satisfying your soul first on the waves you need. This could mean not always surfing together. If certain spots are more difficult for one of you but bang on and firing for the other. If you sacrifice going to that spot that’s pumping to go surf with bae at an easier locale – you may find yourself resenting him or her if you don’t end up having as much fun as you planned. This just happened to me and I felt like a dick for a few reasons. I put someone else’s needs or happiness before mine, I had the option to go check it out but declined and then, big surprise, I wasn’t the happiest camper at the spot we both surfed at. If you have a itch to scratch and your fav spot is going off – go! He or she will love you for it more when you come back a happy, surfed-out-rat of a lover.
2. It is not a competition
Read that again out loud. Put your hand on your heart chakra, look in the mirror and say it three times. If you don’t you’re in trouble. Surfing is hands down the absolute best thing in the world. Don’t fucking ruin it with comparison – the thief of all joy. Share the excitement, shed your expectations and ego, smile, look around and remind yourself out loud if you have to: “I’m surfing. Life’s good.” If someone in the relationship starts to improve and progress, be their number one fan, share in their stoke and don’t just be happy; be proud you have a front row seat for the action. If the movie Into The Wild taught us anything, it’s that life’s adventures and highlight reel moments should be shared. I’m a firm believer in that for surfing. I want someone to see me throw a little spray or cross-step as much as I do botching a take-off or getting pitched – those are the moments you laugh about and share over post surf parking lot beers or in a steamy shower you both cram into to de-wetsuit and unthaw. Competition is a head game you create only when you put the quarter in and play
3. Give advice only if it’s asked for
From both sides this can be a slippery slope. As much as I know and can laugh at myself for doing this fucking thing with my wrists or getting low to drag my hands on the wave thinking I’m Alex Knost – doesn’t mean I want to hear about it from anyone let alone my main squeeze. Same goes for me. Just because I am an experienced surfer and have taught a lot of people doesn’t give me the green light to say, “um great wave, but instead of doing this you should….” Unsolicited advice or feedback is a buzz kill. As long as he or she is smiling and laughing; enjoying the shit out the day, does the rest really really matter? No it doesn’t and never will. Turn your locked and loaded breath of tips and advice into a genuine compliment. You will be glad you did later on when the lights are low and the stoke is still high.
Learn from some of my shortcomings as a surfer romantically involved with another. You will find yourself getting back the core of surfing – fun. As simple, basic and inarticulate as fun is, it’s why you got into it and why you’re still at it. Like what else are you going to do? Play baseball? Start golfing? Gross. Put your ego in the bin, meditate to tranquility and pull the trigger on splitting peaks with babe.