How Learning to Surf is Like Learning to Drive a Car

How Learning to Surf is Like Learning to Drive a Car

“Have you ever driven a car?”

Most adults that are learning to surf know the feeling of getting behind the wheel of a car, but as beginners in the ocean they have no idea what it’s like to stand on a surfboard and ride a wave.

It’s that same feeling when the driver instructor asks you to put on your seatbelt, start the car, and drive for the first time… Terrifying, thrilling, and full of anxious excitement. During our learning process we find our heart-rates increasing, we make minor errors, and we sometimes lose focus on the main goal - moving forward in the direction you want to go.

As a surf instructor I find myself asking people a very common question, “where do you look when you’re driving a car?” 99% of the time, people tell me that they’re looking at their phones or the colour of the car next to them….. Just kidding…. They are looking ahead to where they want the car to go.

Similar to moment you paddle for a wave, get up on the board and surf down the line, your eyes should be focussed on the wave in front of you. Where your eyes go, you go. 

Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. As beginners, we are thrilled and terrified altogether. We create errors and the majority of the time those errors are because we are looking down at the surfboard, the beach, or at someone else in the water. 

So like driving a car, focus your eyes on the direction you wish to surf, down the line of the wave, and where you want to go. In between all the chaos of learning a new sport, an act of balance and physical ability, the most important part is to keep your eyes on the road ahead of you!