How To Cope When The Surf is Flat

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What to do when there's no waves. The eternal surfers' dilemma.

As surfers we take exceptional risks, and I'm not talking about the obvious ones in the ocean. We spend time, money and a lot of effort to find waves sometimes at the detriment to what's going on in our personal and professional lives.

Sometimes we just need that escape. Sometimes days/weeks and even months can pass before we find what we're after that perfect uncrowded wave that we've been dreaming of. One thing that strikes fear into the heart of any traveling surfer after spending hours of research, planning routes, checking forecasts, studying maps and getting 'skanked'. There's nothing worse than spending all that effort only to rock up to the beach and find its flat. Spirits can sink further if it turns out to be a run of flat days. Then we have to look for other things to entertain ourselves.

Childish antics or keep the brain active?

For some surfers that might mean getting up to some mischief. Just watch any 'Who Is J.O.B.'episode to get what I mean by that. If bullying one of your mates to doing stupid and acting like big kids isn't your bag (which for most of us maturer surfers isn't) then something more cerebral might be the order of the day. 

A pack of playing cards should always be bought along, especially for those rainy days to pass the time. Books, board games and footballs are also sure fire winners to keep everyone sane on the trip. Other essential items to bring should include a coffee travel tumbler, sunscreen, first aid kit and mosquito net if you're going somewhere tropical.

It's always a good idea to assume that you won't have access to the Internet for those remote trips, so don't rely on smartphones. Even if there's internet access, sometimes it's a good idea to have a bit of a detox. I've made a point of doing this for my last few trips and it's really made a difference. There's less anxiety and my general wellbeing is the best it's ever been. 

We're now half way through Summer in the Northern hemisphere, and for a lot of us we can see days if not weeks of flat spells. How do you cope with these periods? Let us know in the comments.