23/01/2023 – 5 min.
Surfing and compare yourself with others
Who doesn't know this? You actually had a good session. Then another surfer paddles out and she gets every wave and cuts great turns in the water. You can quickly feel intimidated and start to question your skills. Often among women, this is a phenomenon because there just aren't that many female surfers. And when one does show up, she immediately becomes a competitor.
In general, we would like to have a more collaborative surfing experience, become best friends, support each other and learn from each other. That's probably the dream but often our own ego gets in the way.
Surfing is basically an ego sport. Everyone wants to surf the perfect wave and position themselves better than the others in the water. The surfer who surfs the most beautiful and/or radical gets the most respect.
Yes, there are also sessions with friends where it is not about competition but more about having fun together. Then there is also a lot of laughing, talking, cheering, etc.. These are the best surfing days, even if the conditions are not perfect!
But as soon as the waves are really good and there are a lot of surfers in the water, the pressure is on and so the comparison increases.
„Sometimes I have the feeling with more girls in the water the vibe is changing. It’s more chilled and less competitive and aggressive.“
– Alexandra Siebert, Artist + Surfer
If you can't manage this mind switch, here are our ultimate tips on how to stop comparing yourself to other surfers in the water:
Reconsider your own position!
Is it fair and logical for you to even compare yourself to the other person? You probably didn't grow up by the sea and maybe you didn't have a family that introduced you to surfing at an early age. Maybe your environment had no understanding for your urge to learn surfing and to invest a lot of time and money for it. You had to travel to be at the ocean and had long breaks between your surf trips. Your start into the surfing life was completely different from the person you are comparing yourself to right now. Two different backgrounds. It's not even fair to yourself to make this comparison!
Free yourself from your own pressure!
Don't try to live up to these high standards you set for yourself at the moment of comparison.
What would you have to give up in order to get what you're comparing yourself to right now? Daily training, video analysis, going out in all conditions, always finding the right spots where the best wave is and getting there. That's hard enough. But first the time and the money you have to invest. There is not much room left for anything else in life.
Is it possible to measure good surfing?
There is still no unit to measure normal surfing. There are contests where points are awarded. But that doesn't automatically mean that the first in the world rankings is everyone's favorite surfer. Surfing is totally subjective! Some like the loose old school style, others think jumping airs is the ultimative discipline. But what about big wave surfing or the high art of longboarding? All the different disciplines and styles can't be measured in the same way. It depends on so many things and is a matter of taste. Sure, a radical turn looks extremely good, but maybe you just look fantastic with a nice long, chill cut back. So pick the things that suit you and don't try to copy others. Nobody can do everything perfectly.
Or do you question everything after all?
If all that doesn't help, ok! So you really want what the other person can do? Ask yourself if you can actually make that promise and commitment to yourself! You want to give up other things for it? Then your comparing yourself with the other person is a sign of what you really want. See your comparison thought as something positive and don't listen to the sentence 'Don't compare yourself with others'. Conquer your goal! Get to know yourself and dive in! Comparing yourself is not all bad either!
You never stop learning when you surf!
Actually, in general, you should be totally grateful to have discovered and practice this great sport of kings and queens. No matter how you do in the water. You should not look frustrated at others but have fun learning and not be discouraged, because in surfing you never stop learning! And who knows, the people we admire in the water certainly compare themselves with someone even better!
Learn + enjoy the journey of surfing
„I hope to see more supportive, loving, sharing girls in the water soon. I know there are more and more girls surfing now than in the past, but surfing is still a sport dominated by men and I’m often the only girl in the lineup. Sometimes I have the feeling with more girls in the water the vibe is changing. It’s more chilled and less competitive and aggressive. So girls let’s make the lineup a little bit more lovely with our appearance.“
Alexandra Siebert, Künstlerin + Surferin
Ihre Kunst ist inspiriert vom Surfen, Reisen, der Natur und Menschen, nicht zuletzt von ihren eigenen Freunden. Auch das weibliche steht bei ihr oft im Vordergrund.