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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Suburban Surfer: Staying Stoked Through the Grind

By Rick Bickerstaff

Some people get paid to surf. Isn't that ridiculous? It's like getting paid to eat ice cream or something...

And then there's the rest of us -- spending our days chained to a cubicle, staring at a computer monitor; eight hours sandwiched between a traffic-filled commute each way. By the time you get home, you're so exhausted (but you're not sure why...after all, you just sat down all day) you wouldn't have the energy to surf if the sun stalled long enough to make it happen.

So how do we stay stoked on surfing through the drudgery of every day life? Here are seven tips I've used to get through the daily grind, because a surfer's got to do what a surfer's got to do:

An East-coast sunrise session.
1. (Catch a surf before work)
This is in parenthesis because not everyone can swing this one. You have to live by the beach, be willing to wake up super early, have a short commute to work, start work late, be okay smelling like salt water all day...that's a lot of contingencies! However, when the stars align, a morning surf can be the best way to start your day. Personally, I find it more energizing than 7-11 crappuccino!

2. Watch surf videos when you get into work
I'm hesitant to include this one because it's not the most ethical, but I have had bosses that allow for a little "ease-into-work" time where I could watch the latest ASP world tour footage. Maybe you have one of those bosses too. In that case, get your mind dreaming're going to need it to get through those meetings you have later....

Internet at work slow? Skip the videos and read a blog! It's the new old-fashioned way of taking in information! Oh, you're reading one now? Of course you are. Now quick! Finish reading before the boss gets here!

3. Cover your desk with surf stuff
A friend at work gave me this:

It's a different kind of surfing, but he meant it in the way we're talking about. I also have a large poster of the Vans Triple Crown covering my cube cabinet, as well as a rack of surf magazines; which leads me to the next tip...

4. Read surf magazines at lunch
Do you deal with people all day and need a little break during lunch? Sometimes it's nice to go outside, be quiet and just read the latest Surfer while eating your tuna sandwich. Carrying around such an item is also a good way to get the word out about the sport you love, which helps you...

5. Find surfers at work and talk about surfing!
Maybe you're like me, with a data-entry job in which the only work relationship you're building is between you and Hewlett-Packard. That's why this is probably my favorite tip of them all. 

Everyone has a favorite spot, favorite surf shop, favorite board shaper...and talking about them can help reduce the monotony of the 9-to-5. I've gotten tips on swells, found new breaks, given sweet deals on gear and most of all, found new friends to surf with.  So keep your eyes and ears out -- it's not always obvious who the nearest surfer is.

One of my favorite local surf shops -- Ocean Surf Shop in Folly Beach, SC.
 6. Listen to surf music
At your desk or on the way home, listen to music that captures the feel of the ocean. Jack Johnson, Sublime, The Beach Boys...whatever reminds you of that expectant drive up to the beach, windows down and the smell of salty air hitting your nostrils while smooth sounds enter your ears and linger in your mind throughout the session. Magical...

7. (Go surfing after work)
Another parenthesis, as not everyone lives in close enough proximity to their work or the beach to make this happen. But there was a time that I did, and that 45 minute session of early evening glass can be a great way to clear your head after a hectic day. Just don't drive too fast to get there! Police don't usually take "I want to go surfing" as a good excuse!

What gets you through the day? Comment below...but hurry, I think I see your boss coming!