What Surfing Teaches You About Life

What valuable lessons surfing teaches you about life?

There’s a lot to be learned from surfing. And I’m not just talking about the actual act of surfing when I say this.

Sure, surfing is an amazing sport that requires skill, coordination, and strength, but it’s also so much more than that – surfing can teach you some of the most important life lessons out there.

In ancient times, it is rumored that the first surfers used wave riding as a spiritual experience, connecting with the gods and nature, and utilizing the ocean’s power to help them learn about life.

And surfers today still find parallels between the waves and the daily habits of life. Let me show you 6 powerful attitudes of how surfing can teach you some of the most valuable lessons about life.

Believing In Yourself

Surfing teaches you to believe in yourself – through surfing, you will learn how to paddle out into the waves despite your fear of starting out or of deep water, and eventually ride a wave.

This takes confidence and belief in oneself. It can be challenging sometimes and there will be times when you will want to give up.

But when you give it a try and then another and so on, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Also, you might don’t like the feeling of going to the beach either because of your body (you look great, I’m sure!), while when you’re surfing you don’t care about it so much.

Being able to go out onto the beach in your swimsuit or shirtless can give you immeasurable confidence.

You literally let go of self-judgmental thoughts like those. Notice how surfers today come in all shapes and sizes – they are all there to have fun.


As you progress in your skills, you will encounter bigger and more challenging waves. This takes courage, especially when facing your fears.

The same goes for life – the challenges will keep coming at you, but it’s up to you to have the courage to face them head-on.

Surfing is all about bravery; it’s not just being fearless, but rather feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

When you surf, you’ll learn to better yourself every day through challenging new tasks or simply getting back up after a fall.

You will learn how to stay calm in difficult situations and persevere through tough times. This is an essential life skill that will help you overcome any obstacle.

Being Adaptable

The ocean is ever-changing, it is never the same as it was yesterday. In surfing, as in life, you have to be adaptable.

The conditions are always changing – the waves, the weather, your own energy and abilities – and you have to be able to adjust accordingly.

Even every set of waves looks differently and behaves differently. Rare is the object that stays still for years.

It was Charles Darwin who once said: “It is not the strongest that survives, but the one that is most adaptable to change”

It means that this ability to become adaptable is important for happiness and pleasure in life.

For example, if you are in the middle of a project at work and things suddenly take a different turn – being adaptable will help you to stay cool and not get frazzled.

Being flexible, going with the flow, and adjusting to whatever comes your way, are essential both in surfing and in life.

Meditative Mode

When you ride the waves in the ocean, you parallelly ride the mindfulness waves of your brain.

And in order to ride the waves, read them correctly, and anticipate their behavior, you must be completely present at the moment, which requires mindfulness and focus.

This is what is known as being “in the zone” or “the flow state” – a state in which you are so focused on the task at hand that everything else fades away and you become one with the activity.

This is an extremely beneficial state to be in, as it leads to peak performance and increased productivity.

If you aren’t paying attention while surfing, you’ll quickly fall off the board. Surfing is an amazing form of active meditation that allows you to release the stress of everyday life, and focus on what really matters to you.

Learning to live in the present moment will bring happiness and freedom into all aspects of your life.

When feeling overwhelmed with work or life in general, try to get into the flow state by focusing on one task at a time and giving it your undivided attention.

You may just find that it makes everything else feel a lot easier.


Even the best surfers make mistakes sometimes. You must be humble enough to accept defeat and learn from your mistakes.

Humility is not a negative trait, it is a strength. It allows you to be open-minded and learn from others and mostly from nature.

The ocean is a magnificent force that cannot be tamed, but by acknowledging your lack of control you can learn to go with the flow.

In life, there will sometimes be obstacles and challenges thrown your way. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.

For instance; do you let the challenges knock you down, or do you use them as an opportunity to learn and grow?

The waves will always keep coming, but it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to ride them.

Learning how to let go and lose control is a valuable lesson for life. Of course, when you feel that everything goes right, then hold your grip.

However, humility is a quality that will help you in all aspects of life – from your career to your personal relationships.


Surfing can teach you a lot about balance, not only physically, but mentally. In order to surf, you need to have a perfect balance between your body and the board.

If you’re too far forward, you’ll nose dive into the water; too far back, and you’ll do a belly flop.

Maintaining this perfect balance is key to riding the waves successfully. And in life, maintaining a perfect balance is key to happiness.

You need to find a balance between work and play, spending and saving, healthy and indulgent — if you tilt too far in one direction, you’ll end up taking a spill.

When you get the balance right, you’ll be riding the waves of life with ease.


Surfing is more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. And it is just amazing how the simple act of surfing can teach you so many valuable lessons about life.

Life is like riding the waves, and if you can learn to surf them, you’ll be able to enjoy the ride no matter what comes your way.

Remembering that can help you overcome many challenges you face, and find happiness.