Let’s face it, January and February are crap months. It’s cold, grey and dark, everyone is skint after Christmas, motivation levels are low and the summer seems like ages away. If you are a surfer, it can be the worst time of year for trying to keep the stoke, especially if you are landlocked. The thought of surfing in the winter may be off-putting, you can’t get to the coast for whatever reason or, the winter storms put paid to that long awaited weekend getaway.
Being landlocked doesn’t mean we have to feel disconnected from it all
But being landlocked doesn’t mean we have to feel disconnected from it all. Here are some things that help me to keep the stoke during the winter when I’m miles away from the sea:
1. Keep fit
Winter is the perfect time to knuckle down and get fit for those spring and summer surf trips. It’s also a time when we have overindulged over Christmas so eating right is just as important. With a structured training and healthy eating regime, you will not only feel more positive and motivated, but you will have more energy to tackle the weekly routine, and notice a significant difference in your surfing.
2. Set some goals
Having a focus on what you want to achieve keeps surfing more at the forefront of your mind. It could be perfecting that pop-up, nailing the bottom turn or getting out of the white water into green waves. Write down your goals or create a mood board of images to display on your wall to keep those goals in sight as well as in mind.
3. Meet up with other landlocked surfers
There’s nothing like sharing the stoke with other surfers, especially those that feel your landlocked pain! I have made some fantastic landlocked surf friends and we have have spent hours chatting non-stop surf over coffee and cake whilst being miles away from the coast. We have shared tips, traded books and dvd’s, planned surf trips and formed great friendships.
Landlocked surfers are more prevalent than you think! Find out if there are any surf clubs in your area for opportunities to join in on surf trips, or have a look on social media which is how I came across the land locked surfers club, the Birmingham Surf Club and the Surf Senoritas who, although started as a group of surfers who live by the coast, have grown to encompass surfers from all over the UK, including those who are landlocked!
4. Book that next surf trip
A sure way to fire up the stoke is to book a surf trip. And if you can’t book your accommodation/flights just yet for whatever reason, book the time off work now and stick it on your calendar. Just knowing that you have a window of opportunity to go surfing gives you something to look forward to and the added flexibility to arrange something last minute to take better advantage of the surf forecast.
5. Save money, make money
It’s easy to comfort spend at this time of year but ask yourself if you really do need that jumper, console game or whatever it is you think will temporarily cheer yourself up. Think about what that item would equate to in terms of surfing – it could mean petrol to get you to the coast, a cheap flight or a chunk towards that next surfboard.
We have all got stuff lying around the house that we don’t need so take the opportunity to have a good clear out. Sell it on e-Bay or if its surfing related and you just don’t use it anymore, have a look on Facebook for pre-loved surf stuff for sale groups. Whatever money you make, stick it in a jar marked ‘surf fund’ – you’ll soon want to keep adding to it!
6. Read, watch, learn
There are thousands of surf related websites, videos and resources out there that are totally free, so take advantage and use the winter months to learn about an aspect of surfing, catch up on some surf films or read about some of the pros and their surf journeys.
If you are anything like me, you will have amassed a mini surf library. So,if you are keen to get your hands on some new books and dvds, why not swap your library with a surf friend? Instant stoke at no cost!
7. Get creative
The sky’s the limit here, whether you are good with at art, craft projects or writing. Why not do something with those pieces of driftwood you have collected from the beach, have a go at making your own Indo board by upcycling an old piece of wood, or grabbing some posca pens to create your own artwork on your surfboard. You could even start a journal or blog about your surfing adventures, or create a collage of pictures from your surfing travels.
8. Be near water
There’s something very calming about being near or on water and although there’s no sea on a daily basis for us landlocked surfers, there’s still rivers, lakes and canals. So take some time to sit by the water and reflect – it will soothe your mind and your soul.
Even visiting the aquarium helps me to stay stoked!
9. Watch the professionals
There is very little in the way of surfing to be found on TV, unless you live in Australia, but, if you cant get to any live surfing events either here in the UK or overseas, you can still watch how the professionals shred on the World Surf League world tour on your PC. The main tour starts in late February and runs until December, and with big wave events in the mix like the Eddie and the Pe’ahi Challenge in January, there’s something going on throughout the year.
10. Try new activities
If you are still struggling to get your fix, take a look at some of the inland water activities that you could try like Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP), wakeboarding and water skiing. It’s not the same as surfing but can be a very close second, as I found out back in November when I tried SUP for the first time. Have a look for inland water activity centres near where you live, or find a dry ski-slope or snowdome to try snowboarding or skiing which are both closely related surfing activities. You could also jump on a skateboard to improve your balance or have some lessons if you have never tried it before.
What keeps you stoked in between surf trips? How do you stay motivated, especially if you are landlocked?