14 May How Surfing Will Boost Your Confidence …
We have to admit, us women, actually we should say us humans, are pretty complex. We all have these insecurities about certain things no one else has ever noticed about us. If only we could see how fabulous, happy or funny we looked through the eyes of others. It’s time to up our confidence game and we believe if you don’t already surf, learning to surf can be a major step towards a more confident version of yourself. Let us explain why.
1. You’ll make friends who love the outdoors, who will pay more attention to what adventures you could be going on than how you look or what you are wearing.
Not sure where to start connecting with those other women out there? A group lesson or women’s surf retreat is a perfect place. You’re all at a similar level and can support each other. Once you have reached prowess and confidence you can head out on your own or with one or 2 other surfers. There are also many women surf groups out there, as it can be daunting to go by yourself at the start.
You’ll quickly connect with others in the waves if you smile and say hello, you’ll see. So many women told us they even met their best friends through surfing. Expect to meet friends that will always be up for adventures and won’t care if you haven’t combed your hair in the morning. Furthermore, travelling to foreign places will open up connections with people from different cultural backgrounds, opening your eyes to a different view on beauty and appreciation.
2. You learn to embrace the natural look.
Surfing with make-up and a fresh hair-do isn’t the best idea. You’ll end up looking like what surf women like to call a ‘drowned panda’. J So just forget about them, embrace your natural beauty and hit the waves. The sun and fresh air will give you a beautiful, natural, sun kissed glow, prettier and purer than any make-up. Just make sure you wear sun protection. Anyway, did you know a smile is the best make-up you can wear? Learning to surf will certainly make you smile.
3. You’ll push your boundaries and will do things you never thought you would. What could be a bigger confidence booster?
From going to new countries, new surf spots, new people and bigger waves. As soon as you start learning to surf you’ll be pushing boundaries you might have deemed impossible.
Once you get hooked, it changes your life and you’ll be changing your outlook and expanding what you thought was your comfort zone, setting complete new boundaries.
4. You’ll try to forget about body insecurities, otherwise you’ll miss out on the waves.
The wetsuit… or if you’re lucky to be in warmer water, the bikini. They are quite revealing if you are not confident about your body. This is where the decision will have to be made to either worry about it or just shrug your shoulders, say ‘meh’ and get in the water. The endorphins will soon start kicking in.
Once you feel the splashing on your face or ride your first wave, you’ll forget all about how you’re looking in that suit. When the surf is pumping, you won’t have time to be prude. At the beginning you might try to wriggle off that bra under a towel or t-shirt, but surfing will soon teach you how to flash graciously.
5. The ocean will give you an option to ‘hide in plain sight’.
So many surfers tell of how getting in the ocean has been their savior when suffering with mental health issues. It’s no coincidence doctors are advising surfing as a therapy now and surf therapy charities are popping up all over the world.
Many feel some days they can’t take on the outside world or other people but once in the water they feel a little stronger again. You can literally hide in the ocean while being part of the outside world. No need to feel like you have to commit or talk to anyone, just being out there is enough.
6. Once you have faced huge scary waves, you’ll feel a huge sense of achievement and other problems will seem irrelevant.
We have all been there or are still there. The fear of bigger waves. Remember when you caught that huge wave you never thought you would make? Remember the adrenaline and how stoked you felt after. If you are planning on learning to surf, you’ll soon know this feeling.
Every surfer does. It doesn’t have to be a negative aspect of surfing however. We’re back to pushing boundaries, taking risks and the sense of achievement and reward that comes with overcoming this fear. A huge confidence boost.
You might and probably will experience the hold down, the washing machine, … and this is when Baz Luhrmann’s lyrics of ‘Wear Sunscreen’ come into play. ‘Do One Thing Every Day that Scares You’. After experiencing real fear, daily situations that make you nervous will seem silly compared to this.
7. Managing fear will give you new strategies to cope with insecurities or other (psychological) risks.
Managing the fear of bigger waves or simply new situations, whether travelling or new activities you never thought you’d get into. Once you get familiar with some coping mechanisms that work for you, you’ll be stronger and more able to confront other insecurities in general life. Coping with fear, overcoming situations will boost your confidence, you’ll feel stronger.
8. You’ll get to know a different kind of independence that will boost your confidence in so many more ways than you thought.
Like we advised at the start, surfing is great and most fun when practiced in a group. Whether it’s in lessons, a group of friends or just other surfers in the line-up. But if you look at it as a sport it’s an individual activity. In the end you’ll have to rely on yourself to get your suit on, paddle out there and catch that wave. This independence gives many women a huge sense of freedom.
It starts with those simple actions, but soon you’ll be packing your car and heading on solo adventures to new breaks or even new countries across the world. After a while you’ll look back and realise you’ve achieved so much more than you’d ever thought you could or would have dared to.
Words by Stien Boodts.