Yep. The title of this post pretty much sums up where I’m at with my surfing right now, and I can’t help feeling disappointed.
The fact that I’ve got back onto my minimal after months of surfing my longboard hasn’t helped. It’s harder to paddle and I have to sit further inside to catch anything – I much prefer getting into the wave early. My upper body strength still sucks and, understandably, going back down in board size is bound to take some getting used to. So my wave count is a lot less.
But there’s one thing that’s really affecting my lack of waves and it’s something that I can totally control. My mindset.
My own worst enemy
I’ve been surfing a lot on my own. In a way, it’s great. It’s been a good confidence booster and it means I don’t have to miss out on surfs. I can surf where I want to, work with the tides and not have to rely on anyone else.
Yet on the other hand, and I’m going to contradict myself here, it’s also knocked my confidence.
Last October, I sat out back one Friday afternoon. It was a beautiful day. 2-3 ft and clean. It wasn’t too busy, until the after work crew joined in and the line-up got pretty busy.
I felt totally intimidated.
Looking alongside me, I saw Ben Skinner, who competes on the WSL longboarding tour. Dotted all around me, were seriously good surfers.
And I felt like the biggest kook. What right did I have to be there?
The more I sat there, just thinking negative thoughts about how crap I am, the worse I felt.
Is one wave enough?
Ever since then, I only ever seem to catch one wave per session, even when I’m surfing with friends. Because I literally give waves away to everyone else like sweets. I won’t paddle into many waves. And when I do, I either don’t catch the wave, or fall off.
It’s all a bit frustrating.
Some of the solitary waves though have felt pretty amazing, so I’m trying to be grateful for them. But you know me, I give myself a hard time and want to progress so much that I care just a bit too much.
A shit surf and some perspective
Thankfully, last week, I had a shocking surf which put a lot of stuff into perspective.
It was crap for a whole lot of reasons. I caught no waves and nearly collided with some rocks. I’d never surfed the break before and there was a pretty strong current. I felt uneasy before I even got in the water. I was also surfing with a new group of people.
Not the best of times and my confidence hit rock bottom.
But then it hit a new low after I got changed, went for a friendly coffee and was basically told that I’m a shit surfer. In front of everyone.
It’s taken a few days to shake that one off.
So after such a shocking experience, why am I thankful?
After I’d calmed down I thought long and hard. I give way too much of a shit. I put way too much pressure on something that’s supposed to be fun. I’ve put progress before actually enjoying myself. Again.
Enough’s enough. All this pressure is exhausting. It’s time to let go, stop giving myself a hard time and have some fun…