The Other Day I thought about Surfing

Posted on August 22, 2011

So the other day I thought about surfing.  I am not good at it, and I have only done it a few times. So here is what I know about surfing.

1. The Power behind surfing is the ocean not the surfboard, or the surfer.

2. Even the parts that look easy (Paddling out, sitting on your board waiting) are harder than they look. Especially if you are brand new.

3. You have a part and the wave has a part.

4. Your part is to learn some stuff.

5. This stuff must be learned by practice and multiple mistakes, not by reading.

6. The stuff you need to learn is about waves, and how they act. Without learning this your part will be wasted.

7. Timing is everything

8. Without learning how waves act, timing is impossible.

9. Some waves that seem to be the right one are not the right one when they get to you.

10. The reason for this may have to do with the shape of the bottom of the ocean which you cannot see.

11. You can learn to “see” the bottom of the ocean by watching how the waves act as they move toward you.

12. Waiting a long time is a significant part of getting the right wave at the right time in the right way.

13. When this happens, it is AWESOME!

14. Waiting is also AWESOME…you are in the ocean!!

15. While waiting you are likely to have numerous false starts..this is an essential part of learning to get to AWESOME!!!

16. The waves are pre-determined in their path and size.

17. You can catch them or miss them.

18. If you catch one, you have many options on the surface of the unchanging ever-changing wave.

19. Falling is an option, but when you do, you are still in the ocean.

20. If you miss one, another one is not far behind.

21. It is more fun with friends.

22. Getting in the ocean, also places you in the midst of predators.

23. Waves act differently in different places and different conditions. You must learn them again every time you surf.

24. Did I mention that when it all comes together it is AWESOME!

25. You don’t have to be an expert to play and experience AWESOME!

26. When you learn how a wave acts, and you pick the right one, and your timing is right, you start to move in the direction the wave is moving but suddenly the wave is moving you.

My Random thoughts on Surfing. How about you? Any Thoughts?


  • Gina Bergman

    Thoughts: if you get a mouth full of ocean water, spit it out quickly. By all means, do not stop surfing just to spit.

  • Autumn

    I’m not sure you are actually talking about surfing……except for the ocean part. That’s my favorite part!

  • Josiah C

    I wish I lived near the coast! I want to make this into a poster with a picture of a surfer riding a gnarly barrel!

    I was thinking about Windmills this weekend (slightly less gnarly :)).

    1. They can’t operate or do anything without wind.
    2. When they catch the wind they pull life giving water up through them.
    3. The purpose of drawing up the water is for others’ benefit.
    4. When they draw up the water they are fully functioning in their created design.
    5. The water and wind are connected by the windmill, yet a bystander can’t see the water underground or the wind in the air.
    6. Weeds, rust, lack of maintenance can all impede the effectiveness of the windmill.
    7. The wind rudder if rusted, bent, damaged or jammed will not allow the fan blades to re-position into the wind for maximum use.
    8. Windmills are like the heart of the farm, pumping vitality to the workers and their produce.
    9. Windmills can help cover a seemingly desolate place with what is needed to make it not desolate.
    10. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

  • Love it Bob. Of course I have to respond to this post 🙂

    My random thoughts about surfing…

    When you are out surfing, the sound rolling waves drown out all other sounds…especially when the waves are big. It is one of my favorite sounds on earth.

    Surfing in the rain is the ultimate experience – especially if there is no wind. Something about the fresh water hitting the salt water makes the waves smoother…just amazing.

    One the most exhilarating feelings is when you hear someone yell “Outside!” – which means there is a set of bigger waves coming in and you need to start paddling out to meet them. When you see the first wave you have no idea what is behind it. Your first challenge is to simply get over that first wave (or catch it). Then, as you paddle over the first wave, you see the second one. Only then do you know whether you’ll be crushed or if you’ll be able to paddle over it. This will happen 4-5 times with each wave progressively getting bigger. And if you get caught by one wave…every additional wave in that set will crush you. That is separates surfing from so many sports…it is the unknown of what the ocean is going to give you at any given moment. Side note – my very first memory of praying to God was when I was being crushed by a set of waves…

  • LUV IT, especially #5, I’m right there

  • Craig

    The best waves in the world (ie Pipeline and North Shore) are great because of the deadly jagged coral reef just a few feet under water and what gives the waves their hollowness.The danger is what makes the ride so thrilling. However, if you’re unaware of the danger that lies below the water, or dont believe it applies to you, then you will get bad reef rash.

  • Anna Davenport

    The sound of the ocean is my very favorite sound in all creation.

    On a recent family vacation to South Padre Island we got body boards for everyone and then went out and had a blast waiting for the right waves to come along! Not quite the same as surfing, but it allowed me to connect my personal experience to your analogy.

    Yuri, your last sentence in your comment made me cry.

  • Denise W.

    My comments are regarding two thoughts one on number 22. Predators…..yeah that’s why I don’t surf duh! The second is about number 26. Love that word picture about God! Actually the whole post is great Bob! You have a wonderful way of story telling or parable telling that is a gift…….keep on telling the parables please. Your a blessing!

  • Jared Stump

    Why do I get the feeling you’re not really talking about surfing…?

  • This is a great post. Love it!

  • Monique

    When we’re in “sync@ with what the Lord is doing & moving in God’s direction, then it’s Him moving us like “wind in our sails”. Totally awesome. Only sad part is that it seems to happen so rarely! 🙁

  • Bryan

    I’m pretty sure that’s the best analogy I’ve ever seen or heard (or heard of). Right on.

  • Never learned to surf ’cause I’m a walking accident, but I love to watch… There is no metaphor here.. Or maybe? Anyhow, love the literal imagery, it makes me a little home sick and nostalgic. A lot of my surfer friends would say you just nailed the spiritual AWESOME of surfing. Thank you, bob hamp!

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