Whether we like it or not, 2015 is here. A new year full of fresh starts and new beginnings is at our fingertips. So as you nurse that champagne hangover from last night with a bowl of chili and some college football, consider these ten resolutions for how to make 2015 your best year of surf yet.
1. Surf More
Year after year, it seems like this one is an old go-to. Yet somehow every year, you surf less than you’d like, and your resulting grumpiness is evident. Do the people in your life a favor and surf more this year. It will make you happier, healthier, and more pleasant to be around. Despite how many times you’ve failed to follow through, make 2015 the year of surf. In California, we’re looking at an El Nino winter, and with an already impressive stretch of surf, there’s no better time for you to spend a few extra hours in the water.
2. Explore More
It’s easy to get caught in the home break rut. Everyone does. You have your early morning routine, and you like to stick to it. The quick drive saves you a few zzz’s and the coffee shop up the street has your order memorized. While there’s no place like home, if your surfing is feeling a little stagnant, don’t be afraid get out there. You don’t need to catch the next flight to Indo (although if you do that, bravo), but you should take a drive up the coast and explore someplace new. There’s nothing like a change of scenery to spark your stoke.
3. Bring Wax
We all do it. We’ll spend a couple hundred on a new board or wetsuit, but we can’t spare two bucks for a bar of wax. There’s no worse feeling than slipping off on the wave of the day, yet for some reason, it’s always wax that gets forgotten. This year, the devil is in the details, and having the correct bar of wax for the water temp could make all the difference in your session.
It seems like everyone these days (at least everyone in the greater Los Angeles area) is a total wave hog. And that’s understandable. The freeways are crowded, you’ve only got twenty minutes until dark, there’re hardly ever enough waves to go around, etc. But don’t take your pent up frustration out on people in the water. Remember how far a simple nod can go. Remember that sharing a wave with an appreciative grom can leave you more stoked than any set wave ever could. After all, saving up a little good wave karma never hurt anyone.
5. Keep Your Car Clean
This doesn’t apply to everyone, as there are some extremely meticulous surfers out there. However, the worst offenders have been known to lose friends, girlfriends, and even relatives over the state of their car. While a little extra sand is easily forgiven, that nauseating steamed wetsuit stank has got to go. Make the extra effort this year to make your car wholly tolerable, no matter how many times a day you surf. Invest in some $2 plastic tubs; maybe throw in an air freshener if you’re feeling jazzy. And maybe think of vacuuming out the sand pit a couple times a year. Your friends will thank you for it.
6. Rinse Your Wetsuit After Every Session
I completely underestimated the impact of this simple act until I moved away from home. Even if you live an apartment, dorm room, or high-rise building, still make the effort to rinse out your suit. Sometimes it might be easier to just hang it straight away, but rinsing your suit makes a huge difference in its life expectancy. Additionally, salty suits can cause annoying skin infections, and no one wants that. So this year, when in doubt, rinse it out.
This is the surfer’s equivalent of the ultimate New Year’s cliché: get back in shape. However, that doesn’t make it any less important. You don’t need to be the guy that does twenty minutes of yoga on the beach before paddling out, but it’s not a bad idea to start taking a little time out of the day to stretch out. Stretching prevents injuries, improves your range of motion, and helps release tension. Simply put: all these benefits translate into more waves.
8. Expand Your Vocabulary
After living through the “surf talk” YouTube phenomenon of 2007, this one has been on my radar for a while. However, the use of the phrase “cryptic nugget” to describe a wave during the Pipe Masters webcast really brought back the issue back to the forefront. Just because we’re surfers doesn’t mean we need to sound like, well, surfers. At least not all the time. Speaking eloquently is nothing to be ashamed of, so don’t be afraid to bust out that word of the day from your screensaver or take a gander at the dictionary from time to time. Nerd rant over.
9. Teach Someone How to Surf
Every surfer has a friend who wants to learn how to surf. They beg, they plead, yet we always find an excuse why this Saturday simply won’t work for a lesson. Teaching a newcomer may be a pain, but this year, make the resolution to share the gift of surfing with someone new. After all, the look on their face when they first stand up is priceless. Plus, with the rise of @kook_of_the_day, that photo of your friend Scott with his wetsuit on backwards could make you Instagram famous.
10. Grab that Piece of Trash
Be that upstanding citizen that grabs that soggy, mossy, Reese’s wrapper floating in the lineup. Stick it in your wetsuit sleeve and dispose of it properly after your session. While it might not eliminate the trash continent floating in the middle of the ocean, every little bit helps keep your spot clean.