Love and saltwater. Photo: Jersson Barboza

The Inertia

There comes a time in any serious relationship when your significant other will want to go on a surf trip with you. They can only hear about your escapades to Costa Rica, Hawaii, or Indonesia so many times before they’ll have to join in. And who can blame ‘em? Surf trips are awesome. Seeing the world is awesome. Exotic and beautiful destinations are awesome, whether you’re going there for waves or just to get away. But taking this on with your non-surfing partner can be a bit of a balancing act. After dragging my wife (who doesn’t surf) around the world on surf trips over the last ten years, I have come up with a few rules to travel by.

First, don’t take the rental car for long periods of time. You may want to mosey around checking a few different spots and follow it up with a marathon session, but remember, your partner is stuck in the vacation rental until you get back. If you surf too long he or she will get bored and hangry. As a general rule, try to keep surf sessions to two hours or less.

This brings me to my next tip: keep your partner fed. No one likes to be hungry. On a normal surf trip, your eating schedule is usually determined by the surf. Because of a dawn patrol, you may not eat until around 10 a.m. Your partner, who is stuck in the vacation rental, will not want to wait that long. Don’t let the surf completely determine your partner’s eating schedule.

Next, this is not the time to skimp on your accommodations. Staying in the studio apartment/broom closet behind the local chicken farm just so you can save a couple extra bucks is probably not the best idea (Yes, I put my wife through that). In the pursuit of scoring good surf, having a couple scorpions or spiders in your room may not seem like a big deal. In fact, living like a spartan is often an expected piece of the surf trip experience because waves are the primary objective, but there’s nothing romantic about enduring that experience with your significant other (Sorry again, Honey).

Finally, have some non-surfing activities planned. It’s only fair to make an effort to make the most of your time together. You’re there to spend a majority of your time surfing, which your non-surfing partner doesn’t get to be a part of. Go hiking, plan a horseback riding tour, or, at the risk of having my man-card revoked, take her shopping. Whatever it is, do things that are just for her.

Navigating a surf trip with a non-surfing partner can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be if you put a little thought into it.


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