Age tends to be a mix of mindset and physical capability. That said, when it comes to surfing, there is no arbitrary age cut-off or starting point. If one is physically fit and able to balance, swim, and float, then surfing is possible too. So, labeling any age to be the ideal age to start surfing is inappropriate. Whether a person is aged 5 or 60, surfing is doable for anyone, really.
Socially, most people associate surfing with teen years through the 30s. These, of course, are the prime years of fitness and youth before age issues start to catch up. It’s also old enough to generally take care of oneself in the water without a parent right nearby as well. However, there are plenty who would argue otherwise, and there are even some surfers into their 80s still paddling out into the water and enjoying a mild wave every few minutes instead of some crazy skyscraper drop vertical wave. And with the Baby Boomer generation well into retirement and unwilling to adopt traditional senior practices, lots of senior surfers are appearing now all over the place.
Coming at Surfing When Older
The biggest issue with an older approach to surfing is flexibility and fitness. If you haven’t exercised or stretched at all in a while, it would be a good idea to start some workouts and stretchings a few weeks before a surf trip. There are plenty of at-home surf exercises as well. You should also be comfortable in the water and know how to swim adequately. Stretching and limbering up is needed to get your joints and muscles ready to be on a surfboard. While the water is far more forgiving than the ground, it’s still possible to pull a muscle or a ligament twisting or turning. Regular exercise reduces this risk. You should be comfortable balancing on a board in the water and holding your breath as needed. These are not strenuous activities, but pool swimming workouts and stretching all help before starting. After all experts claim surfing is not difficult to learn!
Turning Surfer at a Young Age
Again, knowing how to swim is critical. Young ones have the advantage of being more flexible, but a starting surfer still needs to be able to control his/her board, swim, and balance adequately. The rest comes with skill-learning. It doesn’t hurt to have a parent nearby in the water as well. For more tips to prepare for a surf trip, click here.
Where to Start Surfing at Any Age
The best places to start surfing are not the overly-crowded ones but some offbeat locations like the Mentawai Islands. That’s because you don’t have the pressure of a public location or feeling conscious of other surfers in the water. You can work with a trained professional guide away from everyone’s glances while being in a place that’s prime for surfing naturally. Not to mention, combined with vacation, surfing is a great way to get one’s mind off of things back home and try something new for a change. And with a close group of friends or family on a Mentawai surf trip, everyone can learn surfing at the same time. So, don’t assume because you’re not in your 20s or 30s, surfing is off-limits. In fact, you might be a natural waiting for a chance to get on a surfboard and hit the waves!