Surfing: a timeless obsession | Photo: Shutterstock

Why do you surf? How do you explain the need to catch waves on a regular basis? We look at the most common reasons why people love surfing.

It's the sport of the kings and an ancient form of getting back to shore after a fruitful fishing session.

But what is surfing for you? We all know surfing is an old practice that became a sport and a pastime in the 20th century. Yet, there's more to it that can't be described.

Surfers regularly feel the need to get back in the water. How do you explain that? Is that an uncontrolled desire or formulation of the brain?

Why does surfing make us so happy with life and ourselves?

Surfing is an addiction.

A timeless and eternal pleasure that takes us out of bed on a cold winter Saturday morning and that, quite often, only pushes us out of the water when the night is down and the waves become ghosts.

The more you surf, the more you find it hard to describe surfing in words.

Perhaps that explains why we start feeling strange, lost, or depressed when, for many reasons, our life doesn't allow us to surf.

Surfing: an indescribable feeling, a glorious sensation | Photo: Miller/Red Bull

50 Reasons for Becoming a Surfer

Surfers have thousands, if not millions, of motives for grabbing their surfboards and entering those sacred, natural wave-pumping arenas - the oceans of the world. What's yours? You surf because...

  1. It's a magical experience;
  2. A surfboard is an extension of our body in the ocean;
  3. You naturally relate to the surfing lifestyle;
  4. I will never forget the feeling of riding your first wave;
  5. It allows you to get your inner demons out of your system;
  6. It balances your whole life;
  7. It helps you through the rough times;
  8. Surfing heals your mind and soul;
  9. It's an adrenaline rush;
  10. It connects you to Mother Nature like no other sport;
  11. It's the best water sport in the world;
  12. It invigorates and strengthens your body as a whole;
  13. You love the thrill of riding a moving liquid mountain;
  14. It makes you a better person;
  15. You love the sun, salt, and sand;
  16. The beach is the ultimate place of the elements, Earth and Water;
  17. Surfing is a dance with the waves;
  18. It's a religion;
  19. It leaves you in good spirits after each session;
  20. It makes you forget your worries once you're in the lineup;
  21. You only need a wave to make it worth it;
  22. Surfing is an escape from the stress of everyday life;
  23. It clears your head;
  24. Helps you recover from illness, disease, and injury;
  25. It is a personal and individual challenge;
  26. Kelly Slater inspired me to ride waves;
  27. It's like skateboarding the ocean;
  28. You can't live far from the sea;
  29. Surfing is a blessing;
  30. Surfing opens our eyes to the bright side of life;
  31. You love the taste of saltwater in your mouth;
  32. You adore the smell of the sea;
  33. You worship the sound of the breaking waves;
  34. You relish watching the swell lines traveling to shore;
  35. Getting barreled is the ultimate human sensorial experience;
  36. Surfboards are stunning objects of design;
  37. Enjoy being tanned all year round;
  38. It allows you to meditate while waiting for the waves;
  39. It's a healthy obsession;
  40. You make you feel forever young;
  41. It makes you travel the world in search of perfect waves;
  42. You love the dawn patrol and the early morning sessions;
  43. Surfing is my life;
  44. It's pure freedom;
  45. It's a sport for all ages, genders, backgrounds, and nationalities;
  46. It's a universal language;
  47. Waves were designed to be ridden;
  48. Surfing has given you everything you need to fulfill your life goals;
  49. Surfing teaches us lessons for life;
  50. Surfing led me on a journey of self-discovery;

Letters From Readers

Having surfed for over 50 years, I still ask: why? Many sports can give you the same or a similar experience but then not quite as profound as surfing.

In today's world, it's more important than ever to have periodic moments of clarity since we're constantly barraged with information, some of which is viable and some of which is trash. 

When surfing a wave, you can only focus on one thing at a time - the ride.

Perhaps while you're sitting waiting for a wave, you can daydream and talk with your friends, etc., but while riding the wave, you need to focus.

And time can slow down when you have that degree of clarity.

Surf on.

Mark Woolpert, Pismo Beach, California

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