Nobody likes surfing in crowds. Its frustrating, you don't get as many waves, and sometimes it can be scary! However, with the sport growing, the surf is inevitably getting more and more crowded. There's the saying if you cant beat em, join em. This article discusses how to make surfing in crowds a little more bearable, heck, you may even begin to enjoy it!
Ok, thats pushing it.
Have a secret competition with someone.
A great way to make surfing more fun is to randomly pick a person who is a similar level with you and keep a low key tab on them, make it a bit of a game, a mission, to try and match their wave count. See if you can keep up with them. I'm not saying have paddle battles with them, but rather to use it is some motivation to keep moving and searching for the next wave, rather than getting overwhelmed with the crowd.
Use the pro grom squad as motivation instead of hating them.
It can be disheartening when you see 8 little groms come running down the hill in their fluro wetsuits, ready to paddle circles around you. "There goes my waves" you may think. Considering you can't control this pack of groms, try and use it as motivation. Often the little super groms are full of beans, and can teach us a thing or two about positioning, having a laugh, and even can even give us some style inspo. Overall, try not to get too hassled by others, but rather to use them as a source of learning.
Don't think lucky - make your own luck.
If you want to get waves in a crowd (without being a complete twat,) you need to be a little strategic. Don't just float around and assume the wave will come directly to you. Make your own "luck" by watching trends. Where do people usually fall? Is there a section that people don't make? Where are the clusters? Does everybody here try and paddle for the first wave of the set? Be smart, and do the best that you can. Be an active member of the line up, not a another floating blob.
Focus on the nature, and waves can come as a bonus.
This article is about how to make surfing in crowds more fun - not to banish them (that's kind of impossible.) If you paddle out and the crowds are horrendous, try and take an approach of gratitude to diffuse your frustration. How lucky are you to get to surf!? To paddle out into the elements, to paddle at all! How lucky are you to be at the beach - a place many people rarely get to visit at all.
Although you may not get as many waves as you would like, you have to admit that you are still a pretty lucky human being to be able to call surfing a passion of yours. So next time you are frustrated and fed up with the crowds at your local surf spot, just remember - you always have the option of how you want to feel about the session.
Ruby @ The Surf Box