Yes, You can Suck at Surfing and Still Enjoy a Retreat

In a previous post, we convinced you that you don’t need to be “good at yoga” to enjoy a yoga retreat. That’s in quotes, because what it means to be “good at yoga” is subjective. If you think you are, you are.

Surfing on the other hand…is the same. While there’s a range of surf ability, even the world’s best pro surfers still want to get better. There’s no “can and cannot.” If you want to try surfing, if it seems fun and bliss-inducing and adventurous to you – do it! We’ll teach you how.

Short answer? You can go on the surf retreat and have fun. Long answer? Keep reading.

Two girls stand on the beach with their surfboards before heading out to surf

Why Go on a Surf and Yoga Retreat?

There are plenty of retreats out there, and not all of them include surfing. So what makes you want to surf? You either had a previous surf experience, it was fun and you want to repeat it, practice more, and get better, or you’re new to surfing and it seems like a good idea to try.

If you’re not at all interested in surfing, find another retreat. Seriously. There are infinite yoga retreats out there, and it just doesn’t make sense to spend your time and money on a retreat that offers activities you’re not that into. You’ll be putting yourself in a situation where you’ve immediately differentiated yourself from the group, your “I don’t want to try it” brings down the group vibe, and it brings down your vibe. Life is short. Go do what you love.

That said, it’s perfectly understandable to be nervous. Who isn’t nervous the first time they try something? It might help calm your nerves a little bit if you read the reviews, research the area, know who the surf coaches are, and check out this blog on what to expect when learning to surf.

Girl learning to surf pumps her fist in the air

What Type of Surf and Yoga Retreat?

There are SURF and (yoga) retreats, and then there are YOGA and (surf) retreats and everything in between. Understand what type of retreat you’re signing up for, and find one that matches your expectations when it comes to time in the water.

At Baja Surf Yoga, we put yoga first. The surfing complements the yoga practice. While there’s opportunity to surf every day, and while you’ll have access to a personal surf coach, we won’t be surfing three times daily, with hours of personal video review.

Nor will we take you to the beach for one hour on one day at an extra expense to you and leave you on your own to figure things out. We like balance. We surf everyday, and we surf for fun.

Some of our retreats might offer differing surf opportunities for different levels of experience. Know the details, and always ask questions if you’re unsure.

woman learning to surf looks out on the ocean with her surf instructor

Surf & Yoga Reality

No physical activity is easy when you’re first learning it. Remember what it was like when you first tried walking? I mean, walking seems easy now, but you were a disaster. Same goes for surf.

The joy in learning to surf comes from surf’s ability to get you out of your SELF. When we’re stuck in ego it’s a nightmare. We think everyone’s watching, pointing, laughing. We’re certain that we’re the only one who’s ever had trouble with this. We grasp onto impossibly high expectations, and we find nothing funny at all about looking imperfectly gorgeous with a swimsuit wedgie and water in our face.

When we’re temporarily focused on the task at hand and distracted from ego, we find joy in the beautiful clear blue water, the sunny skies, and even the kids and dogs in the shallows who are constantly in our way. We’re able to laugh when we try and fail, we laugh when water drips out of our nose, or even when the swim wardrobe malfunctions. We have FUN that’s independent of our performance and we’re free from assumptions about what others might be thinking of us.

Now doesn’t that seem like a valuable thing to practice?

Woman surfing a wave in Baja with her surf instructor behind her

Surf & Yoga Retreat Goals

Therein lies the connection between surf and yoga. Both serve to break down your unfortunate grasping to self, yes, that one that gets you in trouble and makes you miserable. To do this, with either modality, surf or yoga, takes repetition and practice.

Unless you’re already an advanced surfer, you’re not going to become an advanced surfer with one session a day for five days. True story. What you can do in five days is get out on the water every day, no matter what. Practice letting go of whatever baggage came with you on retreat, practice letting go of yesterday’s surf experience, practice letting go of the past five minutes of surf experience, and practice being in the moment. You can have fun every day for five days.

Right now, in the moment, is the only place where joy exists. You might be thinking about that one good wave you caught yesterday, but the joy is now. So say yes to the trip, say yes to trying, and say yes to practicing joy.

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