Watching a group of surfers in the water, it’s easy to think that surfing is a solitary sport. But that’s far from true. Getting out in the water with a group has many advantages and at any given surf spot, you’ll usually find at least one group of locals or friends all out for a surf together. Why is this? Read on for the advantages of surfing as a group activity.
Not only is surfing in a group safer in many ways, surfing alone is not recommended, even for the pros. Having a surf buddy in the water ensures that you both have someone keeping an eye on you. The ocean can be unpredictable at times and even if there’s a lifeguard on duty, your buddy will most likely notice if you need help before the lifeguard does. When you surf with a group, you look out for each other. Knowing someone has your back is a great feeling that transfers to relationships outside the water as well.
Sun, reflection, angle, position, these are all things that affect your perception of on-coming waves. If you have a group of fellow surfers spread across the lineup, everyone has a different view and may be better able to predict what waves are coming. If everyone communicates in the water, more people can get more quality rides, and everyone wins. Funny enough, it’s like that in life too. Good communication leads to good things.
You catch a wave; you nail the pop-up, and then suddenly something happens, and you’re back in the water. What happened? What is it the placement of your feet? Did a flailing arm throw you off? You may not know, but your buddy who was watching you on that wave probably does. Having access to instant feedback in the water is one of the quickest ways to improve your surfing. It’s also a good way of understanding how constructive criticism and feedback is an integral part of learning new skills.
Many surfers would tell you that one of their favorite feelings is cheering their friend into a great wave. Once you see a wave forming and realize that you friend is in the perfect spot to catch it, it’s almost as good as riding the wave yourself. The feeling of tackling something that seems daunting or scary together is the definition of bonding. There’s now a connection, to the ocean and each other, of knowing what it feels like to catch and ride a wave. Not everyone knows that feeling, but you do, and you share it with the group who was in the water with you. It may sound like hippie surfer talk, but give it a try, you’ll see.
And the biggest and best reason to surf with a group is it’s just plain fun. If you catch a wave, and no one sees it, did the ride even happen? That’s a question you’ll never have to ask when you’re in the water with a group. Supporting each other, watching out for each other and sharing in small victories is what surfing with others is all about. The bonds created through your experiences in the water can carry into any other part of life.
There is one drawback to surfing with a group, and that is that there’s simply more people in the water. But that’s a minor issue as long as you’re aware of your surroundings. Be extra vigilant while padding out and take care to avoid dropping in on a friend. Follow those two simple rules and you can create reliable connections through surfing that are perfect for team building, group activities, family activities and more.
Be sure to check out our group surf lessons for all skill levels and ages.