For landlocked surfers like me, getting to the coast often takes a bit of planning ahead, especially as my favoured break is 190 miles from home. I have to factor in travel time, costs and of course, what the waves will be like. I need to keep my fitness levels up if I want to last more than 30 minutes in the sea, and, if I’m staying overnight, I need to book accommodation, arrange cat sitters and book time off work if I want to surf midweek.
I surf as often as I can because I’m passionate about it, and I believe that if you’re passionate about something, you will make it happen
Some of these logistical issues, plus a whole load more, are why so many landlockers only surf a handful of times, twice, or even just once a year. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I surf as often as I can because I’m passionate about it, and I believe that if you’re passionate about something, you will make it happen, regardless of any perceived barriers. It’s also about being open minded and above all, totally committed.
I aim to surf at least once if not twice a month. This gives me something to look forward to and an extra incentive to keep up my fitness, so that I’m prepared ahead of each session. My shoulder injury is currently preventing me from doing certain things but I do spinning classes, which I love, and they have made a massive difference to my stamina. And when I’m not keeping fit, or at work, I write my surf blog, read surf books and magazines, watch surf films, keep up with the ASP tour and connect with other landlocked surfers through social media – its all about keeping the stoke alive in between trips!
Some of my best surf trips have involved nights under canvas, barbeques and chilling out round a campfire
I try to do a mixture of day trips and overnight stays. Day trips allow for spontaneity and mean that I don’t have to worry about arranging cat sitters. I can check the surf report the day before and if it’s looking good, I can just jump in the car the next day. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper – no accommodation involved and food can be sorted at very little cost by taking a cool bag and flask. Changing the car recently to a much more economical diesel has really helped and means that fuel costs £40. Yes, it’s a very early start and a long day, as it’s a 400 mile round trip, but it’s totally feasible and the stoke from riding waves is so worth it!
Overnight and longer stays require a bit more thought. The main advantages are that its less tiring and I can get a few surfs under my belt, which is great for practice. The downsides? More expensive, I’m reliant on cat sitters and, as I found out over Easter, I was more at the mercy of the elements – my best laid plans of 5 days away and numerous surfs realistically turned into just 3 surfs due to a period of high pressure and no waves. No surf report can predict 6 months in advance! But, at their best, a weekend or week long trip is an opportunity to really nail down that technique, chill out, have hot showers and get changed in comfort. Even with camping, which keeps accommodation costs down over the summer months, most campsites have some fantastic facilities and some are even geared specifically for surfers. Some of my best surf trips have involved nights under canvas, barbeques and chilling out round a campfire reflecting on the day’s surf
So, if you’re a landlocked surfer, reading this and wondering how you can surf more often, I hope that I have inspired you. My best advice is talk to other landlocked surfers, and open your mind – if you do that, you will open up the possibilities…
You can follow Kirsty’s progression on her blog Tales of a Landlocked Surfgirl