The secrets of surfing till you're 95

September 13, 2011 | Surfing
Pedro Martins de Lima: surf legend

Is it possible to surf when I'm 95 years old? When will I stop surfing waves? How can I paddle with 80 years old? Will I be able to duck dive when I'm 70? How big are the waves I can catch at 65?

Fortunately, all questions have enthusiastic answers. Yes, surfing is possible until the last day of our lives. Roy Earnest has written a very interesting article for "Healthy Aging" magazine. In "Surfing for Life", he recalls the 'baby boom' and 'surfing boom' of the 1960s to remind us that the first surfing generation is still alive and riding waves.

Surfers have moved with their lives. The career, the house loan, wife and kids, the long dinners with friends, the diseases. It all happens through time. Some have kept catching waves, at least in weekends. Meanwhile, longboards returned to the surf shops and the euphoria returned.

"It should no longer be a surprise when a surfer is over age 40 or 50, and yet, it does surprise many - mostly non-surfers. The growing number of surfers over 50 jolts many people's view of what older people 'should do,' and that jolt gets stronger as surfers get older", writes Earnest, who is also a gerontologist.

Doc Ball had 93 years old and he was still out there in the water. "Surfing helps me to stay stoked", he said. Pedro Martins de Lima, the first Portuguese surfer, is 81 and rides for Lightning Bolt.

Positiveness, attitude, passion and a serious conscience of making part of a 'wellness movement' are the main ingredients for surfing continuously. Of course, you might need regular exercises, a good nutrition program and a mental focus on what you're really looking for.

"Much of what is considered an inevitable part of aging - arthritis, stroke, heart disease, back problems, skin cancer, etc. - is preventable, modifiable or manageable. From a surfer’s perspective, one interpretation of all of this data is that many under 50 have a good chance of surfing into their 70s and beyond", says Roy.

We've seen the latest ASP World Masters, in Rio de Janeiro, featuring surfers over 40 years old. They're totally competitive, they're riding waves very fast and do not sweep barrels or floaters from their mindset.

So, if you dream of surfing till veteran years, be sure to eat and drink well, train well and focus your mind on the spirit of the ocean, for instance, with yoga poses for surfers.

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