No Ocean - No Waves - No Surfing Fitness - Meet Dale
Growing up outside of Cleveland Ohio doesn’t sound like the best start to a surf story, but alas that’s where it starts. My only knowledge of surfing as a boy was looking at pictures of surfers and thinking how bizarre it would be to ride a wave of water.
We once took a family vacation to the beach and my dad told us how dangerous the undertows and currents were. So my memories of the beach were building sand castles while my mom cautiously looked out to make sure I wasn’t washed away by some freak wave.
When I was 16 my parents decided to move… to Clarksville, Tennessee!!! No ocean for 1000’s of miles. I started BMX and mountain biking to get my kicks.
Adventure, Fitness And A 'Good Ride' Began On The Bike
My First Surfing Experience Was A Shocker
In my sophomore college year, some friends invited me to go to the outer banks of North Carolina to rent some surfboards and ‘go surfing’. We had no idea what we were doing and the small messy waves beat us up and tossed us back on the beach. We all ended up with serious sunburn and bloody nipples from board rash – in other words, a total surfing failure.
I realized surfing required real skills and a decent level of surfing fitness. I also realized my surf skills and ocean knowledge was severely lacking. After that experience, I pretty much wrote surfing off as unobtainable for someone like me. Hell, the closest ocean was a 9-hour drive anyways.
First Time Living By The Ocean
Only A Surfer Knows The Feeling
Then I ended up living in the tropics close to the ocean. Unfortunately it was flat 75% of the time with the other 25% offering predominately small and mushy waves. So I’m not entirely sure what compelled me to walk into a little surf shop, perhaps it was boredom of not mountain biking.
I walked out with a discounted body-board and no idea that I also needed flippers to catch waves.
That rainy season I caught a few ‘waves’; mostly shore break foam. I remember how exciting it felt to be pushed by nature’s energy back to the sand. I still wasn’t “hooked” and my body-board got more use as a scratching pad for the cat than it did for tearing into waves though.
Then some friends visited. They talked about surfing in France and Australia. Their eyes sparkled as they spoke and could not believe I had given up on surfing. I started to feel I was missing out on something special and realized there must be more to surfing than bloody nipples and body-boards with cat scratches.
First Waves At 28yrs Of Age
Surfing Fitness Is Vital
My mate told me that a long-board or SUP would be the way to go if I wanted to try and catch the mushy and often small wind-swell waves. Then he said – improve your basic skills and surfing fitness and get your butt to Indonesia, Bali, Sri Lanka, The Maldives… and a little surfing voice lit up inside of me.
I was 28 years old when I bought my first board – a big old SUP that I could also use for fishing and excellent for surfing paddle fitness. Standing up was not as easy as I thought! Again, my surfing skills and fitness where seriously challenged. Luckily I had 6 months of flat season to learn how to balance before some waves arrived.
Learning to surf is no easy task, I can assure you of that; however a few months later I stood up on a wave for the first time and the feeling was nothing short of amazing. I was officially hooked.
Stay Surf Fit And Explore
I Love Surfing
You are never too old to learn new tricks and despite my landlocked upbringing I had a deep connection with the ocean. In fact, I believe we all do if we give it a chance to reveal itself. It’s difficult to imagine living away from the ocean now. I have since bought a long-board and a short-board and at 30 years of age took up skateboarding to emulate surfing and train my legs during the dry season.
Since catching my first wave I have surfed in California, France, and lately Bali. So if you’re reading this and surfing is something you always wanted to do – start! You’re never too old to try something new and you never know what new trick may change your life. A word of advice – work on your surfing fitness from the outset, it makes a huge difference to catching more waves and enjoying your time in the ocean.
Surfing Fitness & High Performance Coaching
Remember, surfing is your medicine – so be at your best. For speaking engagements or private performance coaching to improve your surfing mind-body, health and fitness contact Hayden at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Fast Surfing Fitness training program coming soon in 2018.
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