Surfers frequently talk of the real spirituality of surfing. But as my girlfriend remarked: “they all love to chat about the spirit of surf, but its just a joint at the end of the day.” Perhaps this is often the case, but the more you surf, the more you realise that surfing really is good for the soul.
Many Eastern philosophies talk about the essential essence of things, of being in the flow of life rather than being stilted in strife. Most strive to achieve this essential flow by meditation, or careful thought in movement (tai chi etc.). The act of surfing takes such incredible thought concentration over an extended period that it borders on meditation. Mixed with the physical exertion and release of endorphins, the end result is a feeling of bliss and contentment. Even if your freezing as you climb back into your crappy car and go back to a life that previously seemed all too much. You really are in the NOW.Moreover it is said that washing your head with the energised sea water, will re-energise your aura. photo credit: fesoj Certainly there are high levels of ions in the salt water of the ocean, and this must have an enduring effect on the natural magnetic field of the human body. This leads to the surfer belief that every surf session is a baptism in the sea, from whence you emerge a new person.
Now health is difficult to define, but there is a proven link between regular exercise/ less stress and the decrease in illness/disease. Surfing fulfills these requirments by forcing heightened cardiovascular exercise, and taking individuals outside their everyday world, and therefore view their normal stresses in a more objective light.
photo credit: h.koppdelaney
Tao is the chinese word meaning flow, or life, or universal. These words are generally quite hard to translate. Its more of that universal feeling you get when your standing on top of a mountain, or whatching an elephant, or hearing the chanting of monks in a far flung location. As I always say ‘If youve got the tao youve got the now.’ And so surfing is one the easiest ways after meditation and thoughtful martial arts to attain a sense of health and wellbeing.
As with all things in life surfing presents its challenges. For many their simple baseline fitness is not good enough, then when you’re out in the water struggling against adversity, their strength or agility, or flexibility, or just will power fails them. This is where practice and a determination to overcome personal challenges takes priorit. I personally use this system to improve my fitness.So go surf.