Surfing Excursions & Tours

How Surf Travel Will Make You a Better Surfer

At some point in a surfer’s life, they’re bound to get inspired by “The Endless Summer.” Even if for a week or two, ditching the 9-5, and traveling halfway around the world to SURF is a dream every single surfer has.
For those who don’t know, “The Endless Summer” follows a group of surfers as they jump from continent to continent in search of the perfect swell.

As surfers, we are pulled towards adventure, where others might push away. 15-foot faces? Let’s do it. Hurricane Season? Can’t wait. Aren’t you afraid of sharks? Still stoked. As Nat Young explained: “When in doubt, paddle out.”

There is something that pulls a certain type of person to the unknown. Whether it be going toe-to-toe with the powerful elements in the ocean, or traveling around the world. With surfers, I believe there is a strong correlation of that daring adventure into the ocean and adventure to new places.

Surfing in exotic locations, traveling to new places isn’t something reserved for the pro’s. In fact, I’d argue that it’s more exciting to travel around the world without your agent planning every step of the way. Get lost, meet new people, make new friends, have an incredible experience, and do it again in a few months.

There are loads of benefits for traveling. Invaluable personal experience, awesome stories, meet and make new friends, have fun with old friends, learn about yourself, increase your perspective on the world, and can even make you feel young.

And if you’re worried about budget, check out Couch Surfing - a community of travelers that can hook you up with a free couch to crash. Or maybe even just bring a tent and go camping on the beach.

So aside from the general benefits of travel, bringing your surfboard along can take your surfing to another level, whether you are a surfing beginner, intermediate, or advanced.

Benefits of Surf Travel

  1. Lower your stress
  2. Step outside your comfort zone and get better at surfing
  3. Escape localism
  4. Reignite your sense of adventure

Lower Your Stress

Unless your name is Kelly Slater and you’ve been a professional surfer you’re entire life, you probably work a real job. Working hard for yourself and your family bringing home the bacon can take a toll.  No matter how focused you are on your job, burnout can be inevitable if you don’t take time for yourself every once in a while. Sure, traveling can be stressful (whether it be a language barrier or catching your flight), but it’s a positive stress - remember that at the end of the trip, you’ll have gotten a chance to score some surf in an exotic location. Go in with a positive attitude, meet new people, gain new experience, and any TPS reports on your desk at work will seem like a million miles away. Honestly, when was the last time you got a chance to avoid your email inbox for more than 24 hours?  Lastly, as a Saturday/Sunday weekend warrior, you owe it to yourself to experience some uncrowded surf.
The Beauty of Uncrowded Surf

Escape Localism

Everyone has had a run in with localism. Especially as a beginning surfer, you probably know what the stink eye looks like, no matter how hard you tried to keep a low profile. For some reason, there is a small percentage of surfers that insist their local break should not change - and that includes new surfers. That means paddle battles for position and fierce competition for waves. What’s worse, is that if they find out you’re new AND from the area, you’re permanently encroaching on their most prized possession - their local break.

What I’ve found surprising in my surf-road-trips up and down the coasts of America, and international surfing, is that people (generally) are incredibly welcoming towards traveling surfers. Pop into a local surf shop, tell them you’re stoked to surf their area, and I bet you’ll find 20 welcoming shops before you find one that directs you back home. While traveling, I’ve found shops to provide some advice on where to surf, places to eat, and hooked us up with gear. Just don’t expect to find out any secret spots.

Of course, always be respectful. Go in with the right mindset. One thing that’s important here is to remember you are a guest - don’t act like you own the place.

Improve Your Surfing With a Totally New Beach

I’m from New Jersey, born and raised on a beach break.  I still remember the first time I surfed a point break in California. The wave lasted longer, and broke much slower. When I finally made my way back to my home turf, I was able to surf better.

Surfing in an entirely different area with new variables will put you outside of your comfort zone and force you to grow as a surfer.

Don’t feel the need to bring your own board, either. If you’re traveling for just a few days, and don’t trust the airlines, you may be better off renting when you get there. Of course, do your research ahead of time. If you’re staying for a week or more, you could possibly work out a nice deal for extended rental ahead of time. Take this opportunity to try out a new board, extend your style.

The more experience we get as surfers, the more ready we are to deal with unknowns, which in turn, makes us stronger surfers.

Reignite Your Sense of Adventure

It’s easy to meet like minded people when you travel. Do what you love and the rest will follow. For surfers, that means heading to the beach. Making new friends from different cultures is extremely exciting. Whether it be eating a food you’ve never heard of (Hákarl, anyone?) or just widening your perspective on the world, traveling, particularly surf traveling can reignite your sense of adventure.

Be forewarned: Surf-Traveling can change your life. Once your trip is over, be prepared for endless mind-surfing at your desk, searching for new unexplored destinations, and yearning for a new adventures. Even as I write this, I’ve got the surf report open for Japan.

The Surf Science team invites you to share your surf travel stories. Contact mike[@] and let’s get your surf-travel story published

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