For most of the world now, lockdown is in while the coronavirus runs its course. For us ocean-goers, that could mean staying at home for the immediate future until it's deemed ok to travel again.
And we know it sounds selfish but surfing is a big part of what makes us...us. So by removing that, we need to find someways to occupy our minds until this crisis breaks.
Here's a few tips to help stay outside of your own mind, and to help stay at home in these unprecedented times.
We're finding that at least being able to see the waves via a webcam, though not surfing, can help ease the pain and is helping people all over the world find comfort. Or keeping an eye on the long-range charts to see the light at the end of the tunnel, like HERE.
Spend Time With Family
We often get so caught up in our daily routine—slave, surf, socialise, sleep—that we forget to spend time with the people who are most important to us. During this time of forced sequestering, it may seem easy to become annoyed with the people you are cooped up with, but if you can step back for a moment and realise how much they mean to you, you might just come to see this as an opportunity to reconnect with the people you love.
Older members of your family in particular (like grandparents or ageing parents) are at risk during this pandemic, so let that be a motivation to you to appreciate your time with them, and be proud of the fact that you can make a small sacrifice to help keep them safe.
Despite the fact that surfing is still technically allowed on Oahu, Hawaiian pro surfer Noa Mizuno missed the first south swell of the spring this week because “his family has decided as a group to not surf or do anything else nonessential that might inadvertently bring COVID-19 into their home.” Considering Noa lives a stone’s throw from his favourite stretch of reef, that shows some pretty admirable commitment that we can all take inspiration from.
Dive into yoga
We all know that stretching and cross-training is good for our surfing, and that yoga is a great way to do both—and yet many of us still end up skipping out on our daily practice in favour of a few extra minutes in the water or a chance to sleep an extra hour. But now that we don’t have the distraction of surfing to eat up our time, it’s a perfect opportunity to dig into that yoga practice.
North Shore resident, avid surfer, and long-time yoga teacher Kilty Inafuku (@kiltyyoga) told us that “with everything that's going on right now, being centered and grounded and keeping our bodies in tune is more important than ever. The surf will always be there, but if we don’t take care of our bodies, we won’t be able to appreciate it in years to come.
All of the yoga studios on Oahu are closed at the moment, but many of us teachers are leading classes online for people who are stuck at home and still want to move—including donation-based classes for those who are feeling the pinch in this economic crisis.”
Read a book/watch surf flicks
Let’s be real for a minute, and admit that we surfers don’t exactly have a reputation for being bookworms. We are one of the least educated sports out there, and have long suffered from a Jeff Spicoli stereotype.
But maybe it’s time that we do something about that. Since a lot of us have more time on our hands than we are used to, we have a chance to catch up on our reading—or even start the habit to begin with, if it’s not something that we normally do on a regular basis.
Big wave goddess and voracious reader Emi Erickson sent us over her quarantine book list for the week, if you need some suggestions: “My number one favorite is still the Dune series by Frank Herbert from the 1960s…‘Fear is the mind-killer’—it’s so true! I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from those books over the years. I’m also reading Yoga and Ayurveda by David Frawley and Tantra The Path of Ecstasy by George Feuerstein.”
Also, there's a lot of free surf movies dropping every week recently. For some escapism, tune in on Friday to catch the world premiere of Hooroo on MSW. See HERE for details.
Some of us are restricted to one form of exercise a day, but most of have access to a smartphone with a half decent camera. Take photographs on your journey, remind others what is out there for when this all blows over. It's one thing to encourage people to go outside, but a completely other one to give a sense of hope nowadays.
Make some lifestyle changes
Over the past few decades we have become a society that is addicted to service-based consumption. We eat our meals in restaurants, get our coffee from shops, and drink our beers in pubs—all of which makes us heavy on calories and low on cash.
Now that these “nonessential” businesses are closed, use this as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf that will benefit both your body and your bank account. Make home-cooked meals with healthy, inexpensive ingredients, re-teach yourself how to brew your own coffee, and maybe cut alcohol out for a few weeks. The money you save will come in handy as the looming recession deepens, and you might just come out of this quarantine healthier and fitter than you’ve been in years—which translates to better performance in the water.
Oh, there are many boards on the market you can use now to emulate the feeling of surfing. If you've the space outside your house, on a driveway, or flat concrete patch in the garden, get on it. Or clear some space in the house to cruise over and keep the feeling of surfing alive.
Work out from home
Staying fit is damn crucial during these times. Luckily, we've a whole fitness series for you to get your teeth into. Hit play on the above vid to get into it then head over here for more varied workouts you can do from home.
Declutter/enhance your space
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One of a kind // This custom board features a collection of ocean & underwater elements. All hand drawn and telling a personal story, this artwork will commemorate and celebrate my clients career with the US Coast Guard & will be given as a gift at his retirement ceremony in Hawaii. . . Within the artwork is a US Coast Guard sail ship called ‘The Eagle’ , a compass mandala, lighthouse, whale, shells and palm leaves. Which part of this artwork is your favourite? . Swipe across to see more details >> To enquire about a owning your own custom board for your home, or to give as a gift to someone special, email : firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. . . Song // Tohaj : She loves me not
Since you are stuck at home, you might as well make it a place you enjoy. Spend this time sorting through your stacks of surfboards and take note of which ones you haven’t ridden in years. Look for other things that no longer serve you but instead just take up space, and list them all on Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. Not only will your home become less cluttered, but you might even make some spare cash to help keep you afloat while businesses are shuttered and jobs are scarce.
You might also want to take a page from Fergal Smith’s book, and dedicate yourself to gardening. You don’t have to put together a community-sized farm like the Irish charger has done, but you could easily put turn your backyard into a garden over the next two weeks. By the time the stay-at-home order is lifted and you are back in the water, your garden could be well on its way to providing you with free produce for the summer!
Additional reporting by Jason Lock. Cover shot by Acorn Art Photography