Survival Therapy

Surfing is a sanative therapy. A restoration to a state of actuality. And the reward, post-ordeal? Presence, and an appreciation of the beauty of being alive.

“When I go surfing I’m doing a lot of exercise: I’m paddling a lot, my arms are sore, I'm cold, I'm wet, I’m out of breath, sometimes I feel like I’m drowning. It’s hard work. And I was thinking a lot about why I love surfing so much when objectively it can be a shit time.

I realised, and this sounds super cheesy, but what's happening is that when you're out there on the water it's essential that you are present in the moment. You're basically forced to be, because you effectively have all these immediate threats to your life: The waves could knock you off your board, or the wind could carry you way out into the Cook Straight, or you could drown.

You have to really look and listen and be aware of everything that's going on. And because there are all these immediate threats to your safety if forces you to stay in the moment, and there’s an amazing feeling that comes with that. It's grounding, and it has a real therapeutic effect, and I think that’s what’s so addictive about it.”

Conversation with web developer Lauren Colls.