Pedro Martins de Lima: the Portuguese surf legend

Is it possible to surf when I'm 95 years old? When will I stop surfing waves? How can I paddle out at 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. So, yes, surfing is possible until the last day of our lives.

Roy Earnest has written a fascinating 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 on with their lives. The career, the house loan, the wife and kids, the long dinners with friends, the diseases.

It all happens through time. Some have kept catching waves, at least on 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," writes Earnest, a gerontologist.

"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."

Doc Ball and Pedro Martins de Lima

Doc Ball was 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.

A positive attitude, passion, and a serious conscience about participating in a "wellness movement" are the main ingredients for surfing continuously.

Of course, you might need regular exercise, 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 your 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.

Learn how to become a lifelong surfer.

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