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How to Balance a Relationship and Surfing

Surfing power couple Jack Freestone and Alana Blanchard. Pic via Andy Potts

By Jay Vilarrubi-Smith

“Why don’t you write an article about how I have to shower with two wetsuits and some wetsuit boots?!”

For many of us, surfing isn’t the only love in our lives. And so it is that a precarious relationship exists between surfing, and whomever else we share our time with.

One example being the shared bathroom situation.

A peaceful and fulfilled life is often dependant on keeping your partner happy, so with that in mind here’s a few tips to help with balancing a relationship and surfing.

Groundworks

It may already be known by your partner, when you first start dating, that you’re interested in surfing; either through your initial conversations, your Facebook profile, or even your appearance.

However don’t take it for granted that your partner is fully aware of how much you’re into your surfing. It’s always important to emphasise that you surf every day you can, so as to avoid any early awkward situations.

You don’t want your partner to turn up at your door ready to go to the Zoo, when you’re half-way into your wetsuit and the surf’s three foot and offshore.

Early Communication

With that in mind, it’s important to communicate with all parties early doors. That means informing your mates that you’ve somehow fooled someone into dating you, and as such you might not be as free as you used to be.

It also means explaining to your partner that good waves can be a rarity on these shores and as such you would like to make the most of them when they arrive.

Two-way Street

It’s also useful to gauge how your partner is reacting to this early communication. Are they okay with the idea that surfing is so prominent in your life? Will they be comfortable if you want to go for a paddle on your next day off? This may seem a bit unnecessary at such an early stage, but it allows you to learn lessons which can avoid tears down the line.

For example, apparently it’s “not okay” to leave someone you’ve only been dating a while at your parent’s house on their own, whilst you respond to a call from your best buddy that there’s waves. Strange.

First Performance

So you’re partner has heard all about surfing and frankly wants to see what all the fuss is about.

They’ve agreed to come and watch you surf for the first time. It’s time to step up and deliver under pressure.

If they come and watch you splash around for 30 minutes and quite frankly embarrass yourself in public, they’re not going to respect you or take seriously your proposed “love of surfing”.

Go out there, tame the ocean, and arrive back on the beach an absolute hero.

Buying Habits

We all know how it is right? You need a new board at least every year, you need a new wetsuit every season and there’s a whole heap of accessories required.

However, your partner might not understand this initially.

Be patient.

When they come out with: “Why do you need a new board? You’ve got two already”, take a deep breath, and politely inform them how this new board will fill an essential gap in your quiver.

Hopefully they will soon come to realise that these things you need to buy aren’t just for the sake of it, they’re 100% necessary. Like you could make it to the top with these old fins, they’re so 2014.

Build the Bond

Don’t let there be a divide between surfing and your partner; it will only lead to jealousy and resentment. Now you don’t need to go as far as getting them to actually surf themselves, that would be an absolute disaster, but you can bridge the gap.

This can be done by just chatting to them about the world of surfing. Show them the latest Slater video. Even sink as low as showing them pictures of Julian Wilson or Alana Blanchard on the beach, (depending on which gender is appropriate).

It will all help towards everyone feeling like they are in this together.

And if it gets you closer to being able to bin the cinema to go to the beach, then it’s worth it.

 

Do’s  

  • Make sure you check the surf forecast before committing to any plans. Once you’ve said you’d love to go for a walk next Wednesday, you can’t back out.
  • Encourage the idea that it might be fun for you both to go down the beach. You can go in the sea and they can have a splendid time reading a book in the sun.
  • Keep highlighting how; “Surfing so much is really keeping you in good shape” and that you “think you’d get really fat if you couldn’t do it as often.”

 

Don’ts

  • Don’t let your partner start coming in the sea with you. Keep a barrier between the sea and the beach. The sea is your domain, if they start coming in you’ll have to keep an eye out for them, you might even be expected to stay in the shallows. Messy.
  • Try not to have your surf stuff littered around the flat. It rubs it in your partners face a bit and leads to unnecessary grief.
  • Don’t have a board so big that your partner has to sit in the backseat of the car whilst the board cruises in the the prime passenger position.
  • Don’t try and get them to become your videographer, as tempting as it might be. They probably won’t like standing on a windy beach for two hours concentrating on trying to film you and it might undo all the good work you’ve put in thus far.

 

If all else fails…

If all else fails don’t go surfing. Fistral will always be two foot and clean again, but take a look in the mirror buddy.

You can’t guarantee you’d be able to attract someone else again.


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