Surfing: do you prefer riding waves solo or with friends? | Photo: Shutterstock

Working schedules, family duties, seasonal moods, and aging are some of the reasons why, many times, you end up surfing alone. But that could be good. Or not.

Many people like to surf alone. Because they can manage their time before, during and after the session, and because they can choose the break they prefer at any given time.

Unfortunately, in many cases, we're not actually alone - we're taking turns in a ultra-crowded urban lineup where all surfers are strangers to each other. Let's admit it: surfers rarely talk to each other in the ocean.

Some purists believe that surfing is a state of mind; an outdoor activity that should be appreciated all by yourself, in order for you to grow spiritually and technically.

Surfing alone allows you to close your eyes, visualize the perfect wave, or simply absorb the elements until the next set arrives and invites you to ride it.

Others will say that catching waves on your own is boring and does not represent the spirit of surfing - the right thing to do it is to plan the session with friends and throw a party in the ocean. Sharing is caring.

But surfing with friends can be so much fun - the laughs, the past stories, the professional dramas, the claims, the surfboard discussions, and the friendly drop-ins, they all create unforgettable memories. You can even share a wave or hold hands with your surfing partner.

Surfing: do you see it as very personal sport or as a sharing outdoor activity? | Photo: Shutterstock

However, life is not linear. You and your friends will eventually get older, and each one will have his own agenda for Saturday morning. Ultimately, you end up letting them know where you're going if they want to meet up.

Some surfers say that they surf better when they're all by themselves. In fact, it can be therapeutic, especially if you're an avid member of the dawn patrol.

So what are the pros of surfing alone?

1. Focus on yourself: feel the ride, and analyze your mistakes;
2. Meditate about life: close your eyes and reflect on the things you care about;
3. Enjoy the silence: hear the ocean and the birds, feel the temperature of the water;
4. Surf more, talk less: you're in the water to catch waves, so get surfed out;
5. Disconnect from people: learn to enjoy your own company;

The cons of surfing all by yourself could be:

1. No encouraging words: friends can be helpful and correct your mistakes;
2. No praising cheers: no one will know or witness the best wave of your life;
3. No rescue: if a shark attacks you, or if you get injured, no one will be there to help;
4. No fuel and toll savings: you're all in;
5. Big waves, big fears: it's easier to cope with a double overhead swell when there's someone around;

Confused? Discover what surfing means to you.

The frequent exposure to salt, sun, and sand can easily stress your skin. Even if you're using a good sunscreen to prevent skin damage, it's important to hydrate your skin after each surf session to keep it supple and healthy.

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