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​Surfing Seniors

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Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Can you learn to surf at any age? Can you continue to surf into your eighties and even your nineties? Definitely! Age is not a reason to not surf.

Surfing is not a sport exclusive to the young, athletic, and tanned. It’s enjoyed by men and women of all ages and is not an activity that needs to be learned as a child. As we age, it is vital to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle. In the quest for the fountain of youth, why not learn to surf? You’re never too old to enjoy riding waves.

With increased life expectancy and healthier lifestyles becoming more commonplace, learning to surf when you’re older is a smart decision. You’re not too old to learn something new. You’re not too old to take chances and create goals. Surfing can help keep you young and help you feel alive. Surfing is about finding yourself and losing yourself at the same time. The ocean is ever changing and gives perspective. As one wave crashes, another begins.

Surfing also provides physical and mental health for all who participate in this sport….at any age. As we age it becomes even more important to keep up or start this type of activity. Anything is possible, and surfing is a sport for all ages.

Surfing will burn about 400 calories an hour and uses all the limbs of the body. This in turn promotes physical and mental health and wellbeing. This activity has been shown to improve conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, balance problems and difficulty walking. It also helps build the strength needed for good balance, which reduces the risk of falling.

So why not learn to surf? There are both advantages and disadvantages to being a silver surfer dude or surfing geezer. Being classified as a beginner by groms can be embarrassing to say the least. And then there are the kids learning to surf at the same time who pick it up in ten minutes. Meanwhile, you’re out of shape and no longer immortal. So develop your own surfing style and enjoy!

The good part about being older is having extra time to enjoy the waves. We still look forward to our next wave and get the rush when riding it. You’ll see us in the line-up with our permanent tan just waiting for the rest of you to paddle in and go off to school, your jobs and anything else that keeps you off the waves. We set our own pace and surf whenever and wherever we want.

Then the inevitable questions, Is it possible to surf when I'm 95 years old? When will I stop surfing waves? How can I paddle with 80 years old? Will I be able to duck dive when I'm 70? How big are the waves I can catch at 65? The answer to all of there is a definite Yes, surfing is possible until the last day of our lives. It should be remembered that the “surfing boom” and the “baby boom” happened at around the same time. And that generation of surfers is still out there.

There are some great examples of older surfers who are still out there doing it.

Setting a standard as seniors who love surfing are the “Granny Grommets”. These women are not sitting at home quietly house-keeping and babysitting the grand-children. Instead they have taken to the waves and as such demonstrating that age is not a barrier to trying a new sport, having fun and keeping fit.

Granny Grommets started 17 years ago for women over 50 in the Albany area of Western Australia. Many of the children and grandchildren of the Granny Grommets thought it was embarrassing to be related to anyone in this group, but this didn’t stop these women from hitting the waves, rain, hail or shine. The oldest member of the group is 84 and there are now over 70 women who have joined up showing that you are never too old to enjoy riding waves.

So whatever your age, don’t sit around thinking “I wish I’d learnt to surf when I was younger”. It’s never to late. Get a board, leg rope, traction pads and some wax. And don’t forget the board-cover.

And then? Just do it!

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