Motivating Yourself To Surf: A Guide to Self-Motivation

Motivating Yourself To Surf A Guide to Self-Motivation

Let’s face it, the thought of getting smashed around by waves as sand gets pushed into every orifice isn’t many people’s idea of fun.

However, for a select few human beings, it brings joy quite unlike any other. The ocean, and the waves, in my opinion, it’s unrivalled.

But what happens if you lose that spark, that draw to the ocean that you’ve always felt?

Well, we’re here to get your surf mojo back with our definitive guide on how to motivate yourself to go surfing again.

Motivating Yourself To Surf A Guide to Self-Motivation

Remembering That Surfing Is Great For The Mind, Body & Soul

Your first bit of surf motivation comes in the form of all the great things that happen to you when you dunk yourself in the ocean.

Physical benefits

Surfing is physically demanding plain and simple, the constant paddling is a killer cardiovascular workout, supercharging your health and endurance.

Better yet it engages multiple muscle groups including your arms, back, and core.

This combination of resistance and cardio training makes surfers some of the fittest human beings on the planet.

Mental benefits

The act of being in the ocean and catching mellow, gentle waves can be a calming and meditative experience, reducing unwanted stress and anxiety.

On the complete opposite side, the rush of adrenaline you get from riding large powerful waves can give you a sense of exhilaration, boosting your mood and even your confidence

And finally, the mental focus required to surf clears the mind and improves cognitive function, improving things like your attention span and decision-making skills.

Social Benefits

One of my favourite things about surfing my local is the sense of camaraderie and community. 

Getting out and catching waves is the perfect way to meet new people and make new friends who share a common interest.

And if you fancy a change of scenery opportunities for travel, exploring new places, and experiencing different cultures are nearly infinite.

Find out more about how surfing can transform your health in our deep dive all about the health benefits of surfing.

Uncovering Your Own Motivation For Surfing

We’re all very different and what makes us tick really is down to what we enjoy and aspire to.

So if you want to raise your motivation level you need to really understand what motivates you to get out and surf.

Find your drive

For some of us, it’s performing new tricks and surfing manoeuvres or getting lost looking for new spots for others it’s the comradery we just discussed.

Really understanding what gives you that special feeling is going to make achieving it much easier.

Some of the most common motivations to get out and surf are:

  • Improving fitness
  • Getting better at surfing
  • Meeting up with friends
  • Discovering new places

Set yourself some achievable goals

Once you’ve pinpointed what makes you love surfing you can start doing things to try and achieve it.

This some in the form of simple, actionable goals (stick with me this is more fun than it sounds).

Let’s say you love discovering new surf spots way off the beaten track. Your goal could be to visit at least one new surf spot a month.

Keep a journal of all the new spots you’ve conquered and before you know it you’ll be spoilt for choice next time a good ground swell hits.

Or, if you want to get better at surfing you could set a wave count goal (line-up allowing).

You could tie this in with some swimming to try and work on your paddle fitness. 

Next, you can move on to new goals all with the aim of making you a better surfer.

Breaking Down Barriers To Motivation

We’re all guilty of a little procrastination now and then, but surfing should be the procrastination, not the reason for it.

Not wanting to go for a surf, avoiding poor conditions and only surfing when the sun is out are all signs of a little laziness creeping into your surfing world.

But it’s all good, we’ll find out exactly what’s killing your motivation to surf and replace it with good habits you can build on.

Identify Your Weak Spots

I’ve whittled down what I believe to be the most common sticking points when it comes to surfing motivation.

  1. Not having the right surfing equipment – Wrong wetsuit, under-volume surfboards that sink when you try to paddle, the list goes on. Check out our definitive guide to surfing equipment for all the best gear.
  2. Stiff, sore muscles – Bad posture, lack of flexibility and any pain while you’re surfing will make it a much less appealing prospect. Head over to our guide on surfing and pain for a closer look.
  3. Shoddy morning routine – There’s nothing worse than sleeping in and missing the tide to the offshore wind and it’s no one’s fault but your own.
  4. Lack of progress – So many surfers get stuck at the beginner phase because they just don’t see the progress they want.

Now there are undoubtedly more reasons than the ones above but these are the ones that I’ve fallen prey to.

Remove them

How you conquer your weak spots is going to vary for each individual.

If you’ve got a waterlogged board it may be as simple as saving up to get a new one but defeating a poor morning routine is going to need a bit more effort and motivation though.

Staying in good shape is a big one for most of us, puffing out between duck dives is no fun and it can quickly ruin your surfing experience. 

A personal for me is not washing my wetsuit after a surf and trust me an icy cold, wet wetsuit in mid-winter is a real motivation killer.

Another big one is forgetting to stretch and limber up, particularly if you’re over 30 years of age. A good stretching routine can avoid a nasty surfing injury that keeps you out of the water for weeks or even months

Building good routines requires time and effort but if you can stick to it for around two weeks then chances are you can make it last. 

Find Some Surfing Inspiration

Getting inspired all sounds a bit much for a guide on how to motivate yourself to surf but stick with me.

Watch loads of surf films 

This one’s heaps of fun, I mean who doesn’t want to watch surf videos?

I genuinely think that getting that buzz from watching your favourite surfers in pumping waves is a great way to motivate yourself to surf.

Whether you’re at the very early beginner level or you’ve been surfing for years we can all get that stoked feeling watching a good surfer in good waves.

Try out different boards

One of the biggest mistakes I see time after time is surfers on the wrong boards, normally way under volume.

Trying to make a toothpick work at your 2ft onshore local beachie is going to hamper your surfing journey and make progression nearly impossible.

Trying a range of different boards even just for a day completely changes your take on surfing waves, and always for the better.

 Forget about how a board looks and just try anything you can borrow or rent and you’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have.

Surf with a friend/s

A great day of surfing is always better with amigos.

You can share the stoke and offer advice on each other’s techniques to try and push everyone to improve.

The best way to get this going is to start up a surfing chat where you can all post your upcoming session and car share to the surf spot.

Plan a surf trip 

Last but not least, looking forward to surfing in warm, crystal-clear water is a surefire way to keep your surfing fire alive.

Check out our definitive guide on how to plan your surf trip to start picking your next destination and making sure you’re all set for surfing abroad.


The most important thing takeaway here is making sure that surfing is always your special place, your way to get away from it all and just do what you love.

Hopefully, I’ve helped you with some tips you can use to stay motivated in the ocean and surf more than ever before.

Don’t miss our other great reads below packed with tips, insights and advice that can help develop your surfing.