When I was landlocked, I blogged about every surf I’d ever had out of sheer excitement…which was great at the time as it allowed me to feel more connected to surfing. It also fulfilled the original purpose of the blog – to track my surf progress (kinda like an online surf diary).
Now I surf a lot more and live closer to the coast, I don’t feel the need to shout every single time I hit the waves. It’s also probably a bit dull for you guys too, and not very exciting to hear about me wiping out in minuscule detail!
Because surfing’s such a massively steep learning curve, it sometimes feels like I’m not getting anywhere. It’s often one step forward and two back, and progress still feels painfully slow. But if I look back over a long period of time, instead of focusing on millimetres of success I might get on a weekly basis (if I have a decent surf), it’s way more encouraging to see how far I’ve come.
Which is why I created a separate surf diary.
What my surf diary looks like
It’s nothing fancy, just a spreadsheet which records;
- The date I surfed
- Who I surfed with
- The beach I surfed at
- Conditions (stage of the tide and wave height)
- What I worked on
It lets me track how often I’ve surfed. It’s also something I use to motivate me to not give up when I’m going through a spell of bad surfs.
Knowledge and memories
And it’s a useful way to build up my knowledge of conditions at certain beaches – the best times to surf (and the times to avoid).
From a personal perspective, it’s just a nice way to remember some super fun surfs, how I felt when I caught some particularly lovely waves and the fun times of surfing with other people. The laughs I’ve shared at the kooky things I’ve done and the times when I’ve gone for a wave that was probably a bit too big for me, wiped out but still come up smiling.
Looking back…and ahead!
When I look back on this time last year, my entries show a very frustrated surfer who was starting to get a bit fed up in the whitewater. I wasn’t brave enough to venture out back and didn’t think I would ever get there.
Fast forward a year, and it’s a different story. I’m confident out back in small surf and going for unbroken waves. If I make at least one per session I’m happy as I still mistime the waves and sometimes sit in the wrong spot.
It’s still nowhere near where I want to be, and I definitely underestimated how long it’s going to take me to reach my ultimate surf goal, but the progress I’ve made in a year is there in black and white.
It’ll be interesting to see what February 2018’s entries will look like! Here’s hoping for lots more progress in the year ahead…