Nature has its ways of developing people’s fears. Big waves, for instance, are feared by many because they look powerful and dangerous. This fear may originate from numerous surfing fall-off, wipeout, and near-death scenarios.
Overcoming your fear of surfing big waves may not be an easy process – but an attainable one. Just learn how to control your fear and find ways to get over it. If you want to know how to overcome your fear of surfing big waves, please continue reading.
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How does fear work?
Fear is a person’s natural response to a perceived threat or danger. It reminds you to be aware of what’s happening around and be more alert. Fear is a reminder that you need to protect your life against the destructive forces of nature/mankind.
However, if you constantly live in fear, you may end up being weak and incapacitated. You need to face your fears and learn ways to overcome them. Start by knowing the real cause and continue by finding appropriate solutions to eliminate them.
Why do people fear surfing big waves?
People fear surfing on bigger waves due to the following reasons:
Traumatic water experiences
Bad water experiences such as a near-drowning experience can make a person feel terrified of bigger waves. This fear can sometimes build up into phobias and make a person not interested in any water activities at all.
Afraid of being hit by a huge wave
The possibility of being struck by a huge wave can make a person afraid of big wave surfing. A person who has this kind of fear thinks this can easily take away his precious life.
Afraid of making mistakes
Some people are afraid of big wave surfing simply because they don’t want to mess up the whole thing. They don’t want to look disgusting when hit by a gigantic wave.
A compromised health condition
A person who is not in good shape and/or sickly is more likely to be afraid of surfing big waves. Others may think having a good physique or body built will qualify them to the next level of wave surfing.
Lack of a support system
A solid support system will enable a person to build that confidence to show what he’s got. Sometimes, your friends and loved ones are the very first people who will discourage you to do it.
Why do you need to overcome your fear of surfing big waves?
If surfing truly is your passion, then do everything to excel in this field. Hone your surfing skills and cast away all your doubts and hesitations – including fears. Learn how to dance with humungous waves and let loose – no matter how many fall-offs you might commit.
Overcoming your fear of surfing big waves will help you:
- fully experience the surfing thrill, fun, and excitement
- discover your maximum potential in surfing
- be more competitive in the field
- build muscles and improve your health condition
- gain more friends and supporters
- gain enough self-confidence and trust yourself more
10 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Surfing Big Waves
Though fear sometimes, can be a good thing, eliminating some of it can help you be the best version of yourself. Fear can lead to irreversible anxiety that may destroy your whole self.
The best and skillful surfers had once experienced the same kind of fear but successfully managed to overcome it. If you want to be like them, follow these tips to develop your courage of facing bigger waves:
Know the cause of your fear.
There is certainly a definite reason why you are hesitant about surfing over big waves. Ask yourself why until today, you are still stuck figuring out how to get over it.
Then accept the fact that it is now time for a change. Remember, no matter what the cause is, it is always possible to overcome that particular fear.
Make a firm decision and build a plan.
Assess yourself first if you want to pursue it. Bear in mind that you alone should be held accountable for your decision. Then make a simple, realistic and attainable plan.
In a planner or diary, list down all the things that you want to accomplish – such as added skills, your surfing speed, etc. Focus on your goal and stick to it ‘til the end.
Stay healthy and fit
A healthy mind and body will make you more skillful and competitive in wave surfing. Eat healthy and nutritious foods. Consume more protein-rich foods to increase muscle mass and healthy tissues.
A good exercise, enough rest, and good sleep can also be of great help. For mental health, you can do Yoga and deep breathing exercises. These will help clear negative thoughts and doubts in your mind. Improve your balancing skills and other surfing skills.
When you are physically and mentally prepared, you are more willing to accept new learnings.
Get/hire a professional surfing instructor
The truth is, you need someone who will guide you in your endeavor. Attempting to do it alone may only result to multiple failed attempts that might discourage you to try again. Discuss your plans with your instructor and willingly accept his suggestions for better results.
Start with lower, smaller waves
Finally, you are ready to carry-out the first attempt. Do not rush things out, start with smaller, tolerable ones. Experienced surfers once used smaller waves as their training platform.
Smaller waves create less impact that is not devastating. As you progress, you can try hitting some medium waves, then the large ones.
Repeat the process
Don’t dare give up! If badly hit, consider that a challenge to undertake. Remember that great things start from humble beginnings – make that an inspiration. Repeating the process will lead to skill mastery and an increased level of confidence.
Continue practicing and before you know it, you are already facing bigger waves.
Maintain your balance
As much as you can keep your body in place, do it. Maintaining your balance and foot grip will help you achieve more surfing skills.
Your balance is necessary to keep everything intact – your mind, body, and spirit. These aspects are all important to prevent unexpected fall and accidents.
Do not be afraid to fall.
People will easily get discouraged when they experienced failures. In surfing, fall-offs are common scenarios that aren’t supposed to discourage beginners. When you fall, try again! Know the cause of your fall and learn from that mistake.
Never surf alone.
Always have someone to accompany you. In this way, there will be available people whom you can call for help or medical assistance during emergencies. Surfing alone cannot guarantee your safety and security in the vast ocean. Also, solo surfing can be boring and less exciting.
Surf with confidence
If you have enough self-confidence in surfing, you are more likely to be able to surf smoothly. Confidence can be acquired by practicing and familiarizing yourself with the skills needed in surfing. It is never an easy process.
Hitting those huge waves should not reduce your confidence level. Assure yourself that you can do it and no matter what happens, you will do it. But do not be so cocky!
Control your fear and tension.
Since you are just beginning the journey of surfing bigger waves, tension and fear are therefore considered normal things. If you can’t control these things, you will feel overwhelmed.
This can lead to panic attacks and fainting. To control these emotions, just clear all your thoughts and let loose. Relax and take a deep breath. These will help you take enough oxygen to keep your muscles and tissues healthy. Then face that waves again!
Develop a new set of skills as you progress
When you are finally hitting the right techniques in surfing over big waves, just keep doing the same routine. Then you can try performing exhibitions or special skills that can help increase your expertise.
Find that perfect balance, develop a good relationship with the ocean, and maintain that special bond.
You can achieve your goals easily if you include fun in actions. The process can be mentally and physically exhausting. There are lots of physical things to do that can drain all your energy. Your brain also keeps on working to get that perfect strategy. But remember, the ride is also 99% enjoyable and exhilarating.
Surfing is a skill that can develop the wholeness of a person. It can challenge his physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Surfing can help you create a special connection with the ocean.
But it can also make you develop a certain kind of fear – a fear of surfing over big waves. This fear may originate from different traumatic experiences and conditions. To overcome this fear, you first need to condition yourself.
Then think of healthy and beneficial ways to eliminate this fear and enjoy the waves fully. The ways on how to overcome the fear of surfing big waves are quite simple and achievable. You can do it. Just feel the fear, and go for it!