It doesn't matter whether you're just starting out or you've been shredding waves since you were young - surfing can always teach us something about life.
In fact, the old saying that you can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf even resonates with people outside of the surfing world.
But why does surfing offer so many teachable moments?
Maybe it's because surfing is a challenging pastime to learn or perhaps it's that surfers have a deep relationship with the ultimate teacher - Mother Nature.
Whatever it may be, the truth is that there are many lessons that you can learn from riding waves that will make your life fuller and more enjoyable.
Here are 6 of our favourites!
1. Be patient and good things will come
As surfers, we're always waiting for something - the swell to pick up, the wind to swing, our friend to return the bar of wax he "borrowed".
This waiting game can be frustrating, but it's also an excellent opportunity to learn patience.
By being patient, you give yourself the chance to enjoy the moments in between and you also increase your chances of getting what you're waiting for. And while the quote that you can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf is one of the best, the old classic that good things come to those who wait rings true too.
2. Respect is a two-way street
Respect in surfing is a big deal.
It brings order to a chaotic lineup and a sense of appreciation for the environment. But respect is a two-way street - we must show it to get it.
By respecting others and being humble, we create an environment in which we can all surf together peacefully. And by respecting the waves, beaches and surf breaks, we ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy them too.
So remember to be humble and, as Randolph Benzaquen says in our Moroccan surf documentary, respect the present moment in all circumstances, even the most dramatic moments.
It'll make your life a whole lot easier and your surf adventures infinitely more fulfilling.
3. Life is full of highs and lows
Life is kind of like a wave in the sense that there are both peaks and dips.
Sometimes you feel like an absolute rockstar. Other times you feel like the human equivalent of a discarded soft top surfboard.
Just remember that you can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf, which is to say that while the bad times will inevitably come, we have faith that you can always ride them out!
4. Nature is to be treasured
If you ever want proof that Mother Nature is a powerful force, try surfing big waves.
However, if you also want proof that she's to be looked after and respected, try surfing in a place where there's very little of her left.
Nature is both mighty and fragile at the same time.
This duality is obvious for surfers, but it's a lesson that can be applied to all aspects of life.
As frequent Surf Tribe contributor, Portuguese surfer and good friendThomas Berry says, to treasure nature is to recognise that what it gives us in return is immeasurable.
5. Worry about only what you can control
Once again, the quote that you can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf is relevant here.
The reason for this is that while you can't prevent things outside of your control from happening, you can control how you handle them. This is an incredibly important lesson to remember when you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious about something.
Worrying about things you can't control will only lead to more stress and anxiety, so it's important to let these go and focus on the two things always within your control: your attitude and your effort.
6. Be ready to seize the opportunity
Just like in life, surfing is full of opportunities for you to grow.
You might be confronted with a big and challenging wave or you might find yourself in the perfect conditions to attempt a new maneuver.
In these situations, you need to back your skills and recognise that you can do it - hesitating will only cause you to miss the moment (and probably regret it later).
So, when you see an opportunity in the ocean or in life, go for it.
You might just surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.