Surfing: stop smoking and increase paddle power

There many surfers who smoke. If you're passionate about the ocean and the waves, consider quitting cigarettes. You can't imagine what you'll earn.

Smoking and surfing. Two words with the same number of characters, two words with opposite meanings. The good news is that a surfer can quit on any day of the year. What for? To live more, to surf better, to catch more waves, and to ride waves others couldn't catch.

Each cigarette contains around 4,000 chemicals. Now, add nicotine and you'll know you'll be losing money and decreasing your life expectancy.

Smoking affects the whole human body, from head to toes. Hair loss, eye irritation, blindness, headaches, mood changes, sore throat, tooth loss, bronchitis, pneumonia, coughs, colds, shortness of breath, heart attack, cold hands and feet, premature skin ageing, impotence, etc.

Surfing and smoking are not synonyms. Nothing against smokers, but the truth is that you could improve your wave riding skills so much, that you should really try burning those last cigarettes.

A Californian surfer that smokes a daily pack of cigarettes spends nearly 2400 dollars, every year. How does that translate into surfboards, wetsuits, travels, and surf gear? "Only" smoke ten a day? That's 1200 dollars.

Tobacco changes surfers. Smoking damages lungs and makes breathing more difficult. It affects lung capacity, a critical variable in surfing and paddling for waves. A surfer who doesn't smoke uses oxygen three times more efficiently than a non-smoker who doesn't swim or ride waves.

Have you quit smoking? Eat more apples, tuna, peanuts, corn, lemons and oranges, stay away from smoking environments, walk, run, swim, and drink large amounts of water to expel mucous rapidly. Your lung function will be improved by 30% in less than 14 days to 12 weeks after leaving cigarettes.

The shortness of breath will decrease in one to nine months, but one week after quitting smoking you will be catching more waves, with more lung power. Here's what will happen to your surfing life:

20 minutes: your blood pressure decreases
8 hours: amount of carbon monoxide in blood drops back to normal
48 hours: your nerve endings start to regenerate; smell and taste is enhanced
72 hours: your body gets rid of nicotine
2-3 weeks: lung are clearer, breathing is easier
1-3 months: inhale/exhale function is greatly improved
1-9 months: shortness of breath decreases
12 months: overall lung function improves dramatically
5 years: stroke risk reduced to that of a non-smoker
10 years: danger of lung cancer is less than half that of a smoker

Surfers aged over 35 will notice increased problems in the respiratory system. It's a matter of making choices. Want to surf more? Choose life, choose waves. Quit smoking and enjoy the ocean.