The Surfing Machine: 10 Reasons To Surf

by | Dec 28, 2020 | Stories, Surfing, Travel

2020 has been a banner year for me.  I’m realizing my dream of living in Mexico and learning Spanish.  I live right, smack on the Pacific Ocean.  I hear the waves crashing when I fall asleep at night, then I wake up and ride them.  I finally learned how to surf here, and I have been surfing twice per day.  Surfing is at the center of my long-term plans.  I have big goals for 2021 and beyond—bigger goals than ever.  But I’m not telling anybody what they are.  Not even my Mom or my best friends.  Nobody.

I do the same things every day.  I surf in the morning, work at the coffee shop in the afternoon, then surf again in the evenings.  It’s been cold in the mornings, and I have been the only person on the water.  I’ve been doing dawn patrol by myself each morning since I stopped working with my instructor.  We went out together every morning until I learned the basics, but now I am on my own.  I keep going out alone every day, even though I miss my coach.  Surfing with friends is always more fun, but if I want to be a surfer, I will mainly be surfing alone for the time being.
There have been no other surfers out in the mornings and nobody on the beach except for a few local fishermen.  The fishermen are the only ones out there to see my good rides and my good wipeouts.  I’ve been surfing so feverishly that I have given myself a new nickname: The Surfing Machine.  Surfing took hold of me so quickly and mightily that I have often asked myself why I’m doing it.  There is no single answer.  There are many.  This list is not exhaustive, but here are ten reasons I surf:
1) Surfing makes me a happier and, therefore, better person.
  • I am kinder and more generous to people on land because I am energized by surfing.  Surfing improves my attitude and energy level for the whole day.  Surfing relieves stress and elevates my entire sense of being.  Therefore, I treat people better.
2) Surfing is excellent exercise.
  • I know of nothing that burns more calories than surfing.  Surfing will help you lose weight (although running is still the best way to lose weight, in my opinion).  It will also improve your cardio, even if you are a high-level athlete.
3) Surfing is a great way to make new friends.
  • The surfing world is full of interesting people.  I’ve already taken surf trips with my local friends here in Mexico.  Of course, speaking and understanding the local language is key.
4) Surfing connects me with nature.
  • It makes me completely present.  I’m focused purely on what I am doing.  I’m not thinking about anything else.  All distractions cease to exist while I am out there on the waves.  It’s an escape from “land problems.”

5) Surfing is fun for its own sake.

  • The sensation of dropping down the face of a wave and riding along the water’s surface is priceless.  The feeling could never be described adequately.  Words can’t capture it.  It’s something that must be experienced.  It must be felt.  There’s a saying: ”only a surfer knows the feeling.”  This is the feeling I speak of.
6) Surfing provides schedule structure.
  • My day follows the surf schedule.  I surf in the mornings because that is when the surfing conditions are best, and before the sun is too high.  I surf again in the evenings for the same reasons: good surf and low sun.  I do my research and writing during the day because that is when I’m not surfing.  I eat and sleep to fuel up for surf sessions.  I live to surf.
7) Surfing demands endless learning.
  • Surfing is an art.  Like any art, it takes a lifetime to master.  A real artist never stops learning about his craft.  There are endless dimensions to surfing.  Every surfer is also an amateur naturalist, oceanographer, weatherman, medic, handyman, geographer, cook, nutritionist, linguist, and travel agent.  You keep learning for life.
8) Surfing demands self-sufficiency.
  • Surfing engraves a self-sufficient ethic deep into your core through fear.  Being out there in big surf, all alone, on a small piece of fiberglass is humbling.  You realize that you and you alone are responsible for your well-being.  Whether you have a great experience or a near-death experience depends purely on your skills and the decisions you make.  Show me a great surfer, and I’ll show you a remarkably self-sufficient person.  They had to be self-sufficient to become a great surfer.  Surfing, by nature, targets, and weeds out excuses for not surfing.
9) Surfing is a reason to travel.
  • I can’t think of a better way to see the world than through endless surf trips.  This idea is so appealing that they made two movies out of it: Endless Summer I and II.  These movies are classic hits and continue to be the beginning of the surfing journey for thousands of people.  People lust over the idea of traveling the world surfing.  I’m living that fantasy as we speak, and I plan to keep it up as long as possible.
10) Surfing is a reason to care about the environment.
  • The first time you get diarrhea or a skin infection from polluted water, you will know what I’m talking about.  The first time you arrive at an isolated beach to find it covered in trash, you will know what I am talking about.
After my morning surf, I walk about a half mile to the coffee shop to do my desk work.  I arrive at roughly the same time and sit at approximately the same spot every day.   I know everyone who works here by name, and they know me.  I greet them every time I come in.  They must laugh at me because I am so predictable.  They joke with me that the coffee shop is my office – and it is.  I show up every day like clockwork.  Except on Wednesdays because they are closed.  If they were open on Wednesdays, I’d show up on Wednesdays, too.  I do research and writing at the coffee shop every day until it’s time to surf again.
Nobody makes me do any of this. Nobody checks my time card to see if I showed up.  Nobody cares.  That’s what I like about it.  I don’t have a boss.  I show up because I want to.  I show up because surfing means living the dream I’ve had since I was a kid.   Living my childhood dreams gives me a great sense of pleasure, satisfaction, and accomplishment.   Learning to surf wasn’t easy.  It took dedication, drive, and commitment – but living out my childhood dreams is incredibly gratifying.  It’s so gratifying that I’ve decided to keep doing it forever.  I plan to perpetually follow the desires of my inner child: the one who wants to do nothing but have fun all the time.
The success of my life and career will be measured in only one currency: how much fun I have.  Not by how much money I make.  Not by how many girls like me.  Not by how many people read my blog.  Not by any position or rank I hold.  Only by how much fun I have.  I am going to live this lifestyle as long as I can, and I am going to share updates.  So stay tuned.  The coming years are going to be humdingers.  2020 was just a warm-up.  I have only begun to surf.
Living this lifestyle is serious business, though.  It’s not for everybody.  Freedom must be balanced by responsibility, or it will turn into chaos.  Living this free takes a strong backbone and a strong moral compass.  You must remain focused on your goals, or you will fall off track.  Plenty of ex-pats leave their country claiming to be on some righteous mission but don’t have anywhere near the discipline or dedication to follow through on their commitments.
There are plenty of guys down here in Mexico who claim that they are “learning Spanish.”  Some of them have lived here for years and still can’t even ask for a menu in Spanish, let alone order from it.  I stay away from these guys.
There are also plenty of guys who are “learning to surf.”  They have a board and speak surfing lingo well enough to fool non-surfers into thinking they know what they are doing.  This ruse ends the moment they hit the water.  Whether you have been surfing or not, your skills will show it.  When it comes time to paddle out, you will not fool anybody – least of all yourself.

Read more stories by Eddie.
More surfing posts by Eddie.
More travel posts by Eddie.
Watch Eddie’s videos.


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