Surfing: yes, there are a few things you might not want to hear | Photo: Shutterstock

The health and spiritual benefits of surfing have already been widely disseminated. Surfing is a medicine against death. But are there any downsides to surfing? There might be.

Don't worry, surfing's deep dark secrets aren't so bad. Don't be discouraged, for surfing is for life. But we need to know what to expect in the long-term, and we must be prepared for the downsides of such a magnificent sport.

Don't be scared to death of surfing. This is not a discouraging article. It is rather a rational list of risks that should be taken into consideration when embracing surfing.

As surfers, we need to be aware of the social and natural surroundings. It is not just the marine life hazards (jellyfish, corals, Portuguese man o' wars, sea snakes, weevers, crown-of-thorns starfish, sharks, etc.); our surfing life has an impact on other people too.

Yes, big wave surfing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world, but you don't need to chase mutant cylinders to fulfill and live your surfing dreams. So, let's just acknowledge the existence of risks, and act accordingly to protect ourselves.

1. Surfing is a lifelong addiction dictated by surf brands: the more you get into surfing, the more you will be exploited by surf corporations, surfboard shapers, surf resorts, and companies that use the sport to get into your pocket;

2. Surfing can ruin your relationship: waves and surfboards have already destroyed marriages - he or she will not spend his or her weekends sitting on the beach, and waiting for you and your daily dose of adrenaline;

3. Wherever you find a good wave, you will find crowd and localism: because there is always someone who wakes up earlier, and someone who thinks he owns the beach, the spot, and the peak - in other words, trouble ahead;

4. Sharks love surfers: the odds of getting attacked and killed by a shark are slim, but you can't rule out that possibility. And to make things worse, you never know if or when you're going to meet the predator;

5. You will wipe out and get caught inside by a huge set; it's as inevitable as an ocean tide - wipeouts can be tough to swallow, and a three-wave hold-down is a nightmare.

6. Surfers are greedy: everyone wants that wave and, with time, you will also become a selfish, arrogant, wave-obsessed surfer. You feel the need to fuel your addiction with some stabs in the back of surf etiquette;

7. Perfect waves are scarce and rare: surf magazine, surf videos, surf movies, and Championship Tour events make us believe barrels are always flawless, and A-frame waves are repeatedly forgiving. Wrong. Welcome to the world of onshore winds, destroying your Saturday morning surf since the beginning of time;

8. We always think we're better surfers than we really are: you realize you've been fooling yourself for two decades when someone spends an entire morning filming your rides, and the final result is a frustrating spectacle - right, you're just an average surfer like 99 percent of the world;

9. The flat days are never over: typically when you find time to surf there is not enough swell. Occasionally, when summer arrives you never surf. That's around 50 percent of the year. Get used to it;

10. Surfing comes with a complete list of injuries and diseases: take note - surfer's ear (exostosis), surfer's eye (pterygium), skin cancer, lower back and shoulder pain, staph infections, hypothermia, dry and damaged hair, lacerations, sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations;

Windsurfing offers multiple sailing opportunities. You can go free riding in a flat water lake or hit the ocean for a wave sailing session. As with everything in water sports, there's a specific rig for each kind of windsurfing discipline.

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