Although many consider surfing to be a young people’s sport, there’s increasing evidence to show that more and more men and women are taking up surfing as a hobby once they turn 40 and especially after retirement.
In fact, half of the 120 members at the all-female Wahine Kai Surf Club, Huntington Beach, are over 40, and although most are beginner surfers, they’re no less enthusiastic. Surfing is hooking everyone, of every age, but it’s also attracting men and women after retirement, or at least when they begin to see past the restrictions of their usual work-life.
A contributing editor at Outside magazine surmised: “Maybe you decide there’s something more than just working… You say, ‘I’m not going to live forever. Maybe it’s time to pursue some of those other dreams.’”
It seems this may very well be the philosophy that people are living by now, and whereby the appeal of surfing was once only seen by young, fit, hot bodies with blonde hair, the sport has taken on a new meaning amongst people of all ages and from all backgrounds.
That’s because learning to surf can be genuinely life-altering. When it hooks you and you realise the exhilaration and the peaceful calm of riding the waves and being one with the ocean you truly begin to view life in a different light. Linda Richards, 44, seems to have the same opinion, stating on www.secondact.com that: “It really taught me that right now is the moment I need to live in. That was an important lesson to learn.”
Not only do you keep fit and end up looking sunkissed and healthy, but you learn about faith and patience, learning to be calm and comfortable with yourself and at the same time experiencing the true delight of feeling the surge of a wave beneath your board. Riding a wave could be the difference between life and death for many, but the adrenaline rush that follows the patient wait teaches you to hang in there, be strong and believe in yourself. Another lesson that’s important for anyone to learn at any age.