No Waves – No Surfing Today – What Are Your Alternatives?

If you are a water person, a day with no waves to surf opens up whole new horizons for water activities. Sometimes it is a blessing, kind of like a reprieve. Do you ever get tired of surfing every day? Don’t answer that question! Consider all of the possibilities that are available to you if there are no waves to surf.

Here are some Surfboard Types for a no surf day:


· Skimboard

· Wakeboard

· Paddleboard

· Wave Pool Surfboard

You have some real good alternatives. You can take your SUP to the ocean or to the nearest body of water and go for a leisure cruise or a great physical workout. It seems that more surfers are adding a SUP to their quiver. Many families are adding one or two SUPs or even more so that everyone in the family can get in the water. If they do not have a SUP, they go down to their local surf shop or water sports rental shop and rent one for the day for a very nominal amount.

As I have mentioned in prior articles, standup paddling has become a very popular activity for individuals and for families. It has become a great way to have fun while getting a good physical workout, cruising by yourself in a waterway, joining your local group of friends or a SUP club and turning your SUP experience into a social affair. Consider adding a SUP to your quiver of surfboards.

If you are younger, or a person with a lot of energy, you can go skimboarding. A skimboard is a small surfboard made to skim or slide in very shallow water with you standing on it. You can skim in water as shallow as 1/8th of an inch or less. In order to skim, you run as fast as you can carrying your skimboard, building up speed and momentum, drop your skimboard in the shallow water or wet surface, jump on it and then skim and slide for long distances. As you build your skill level, you can do spins, turns, jumps, and ride forward and backward. Be very careful when you are learning because you can lose control and land on your butt on the hard sand.

You can skim on lakes, rivers, and shorelines of just about any body of water of even on a wet lawn as long as there are no rocks or debris to inhibit your skim. Some of the kids riding skimboards ride them on grass hills in parks or on golf courses. You can also tow a rider on his or her skimboard behind a boat or even pulled by a car in an aqueduct. Skimboarding is a fun event and has turned into a small professional sport, with more and more companies making them. Most of the skimboards are hardboards made from fiberglass or wood, but there are also soft skimboards on the market called “the ONE” designed by Tom Morey the inventor of the Morey Boogie Board.

Wakeboards are another possibility, but you need a boat to tow you. You can ride behind the board as if you are water skiing or you can ride the wake of the boat letting go of the rope as if you are surfing. As a special note, Hobie Alter rode the wake behind a motor boat from Long Beach, CA to Catalina Island, which is approximately 26 miles and in the Guinness Book of World Records. You can also buy a wakeboard specifically designed for wakeboarding or you can use your surfboard, SUP or skimboard. Most surfers, engaging in this sport, will use their surfboards, either long or short.

Paddleboarding is another great way to spend time on the water. Paddleboards have been around for a long time and were made popular in Hawaii by Tom Blake back in the early 1900’s. A paddleboard is paddled in the prone position or on your knees. However, you can sit on the board and leisurely paddle around checking out the underwater foliage, fish or cruising around enjoying the fresh air and the view. You can also paddle your surfboard to keep yourself in paddling shape. There is a small group of individuals that race paddleboards. The most famous race is the annual Molokai to Diamond Head Race in Hawaii. It is a rough open ocean race where paddlers in the past have lost their lives.

Surfing a man made wave is another venue that has become somewhat popular. There are wave parks with simulated ocean waves some as big as 4 to 6 feet. There are also Standing Wave Machines where water is pushed under force up a wall simulating a wave. Special little surfboards are used and provided by the operators of the standing wave machines. The wave pools, wave parks, and standing wave machines are few and far between. Some are pretty good, but most are mediocre at best.

If you really need a break from surfing and don’t feel like riding one of the boards mentioned above, forget the couch and TV. Go to the gym and do some cardio, abs, and lift some weights. You can get a great workout preparing yourself for your next surf session and walk out of the gym feeling great because you have accomplished something for yourself. In a future article, I will be talking about a physical conditioning routine that all surfers should follow. I will also tell you about healthy eating, which is a big part of your physical well being, which will also help you improve your surfing.

So my friends, don’t let a day with no surf get you down. Make the most of it by having the proper surfboard types in your quiver that will make it possible for you to diversify your water experience. This is all a part of learning how to Surf Life. Enjoy the water, surf or no surf! It’s a blast!

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