You’re up in the car park towelling off after a cold but fun surf. On this rare occasion you’ve got nowhere to be. As you gaze down the beach you spot a person (guy or a girl – shoulder length hair is a crafty disguise) who seconds ago was casually strolling along the sand, board under arm, tail forward, slightly tilted to the sky has, out of nowhere, broken into a run. Well not so much a run, but a trot. This is no ordinary trot, it’s the kind of trot you’d expect from a thoroughbred dressage pony ridden by a royal cousin in an Olympic semi-final. The back is perfectly upright, the head held high, and the ankles proudly flick up the sand as even hoof-prints mark the beach behind him/her/it. Running perpendicular to the sea its impossible to tell if they’re getting out or in. As mystery of the sudden gear shift deepens, you can see yourself in this same situation. You’ve already done it twice today. Once in and once out of the water… but why? You draw a blank, why? Why is it that surfers run?
Efficiency is key.
A simple explanation could be to get the blood pumping. A little cardio to open up the lungs pre-paddle. Warming up on your run to the beach might save precious second stretching and get you straight in the drink where the action is. Or maybe you’re not naturally a morning person and need the wake up for that pre-dawn surf. This is the quick but crucial pre-paddle wake up regime. That 30 second run down the sand might make all the difference to those who’ve rolled straight from duvet to car to beach in a daze. But then “why on the way out?” you ask. Pretty simple. Everyone knows you need to warm down.
Maybe it’s not that you need warming up. You miss judged how cold it is outside and chose the 5mm wetsuit. Bad mistake. You’re walk down to the beach suddenly seems to take forever and you’re sweating buckets in there. The ocean is the only way out, dunking your head into ole blue is the only thing that will save you. It’s cooling embrace is a lot quicker if you run at it. Or maybe it’s not too cold, it is the perfect day, blue sky and hot. Too hot? We all know the feeling of molten hot sand on your delicate surfers’ feet. Either way, getting in our out… there’s only one way to cross that scalding no-man’s-land. Better get a trot on.
Maybe surfers are running away from something. There’s nothing like shredding away a stressful day. Jay-Z had 99 Problems but switch ain’t one. Nailing a cutback on repeat or a touch of shack therapy sure washes off those woes. A saltwater solution is always the best remedy, so run! Run into it and get cured.
Nature’s really calling.
Ever needed a pee just as you’ve got into your wetsuit? You definitely have, it’s that same feeling as arriving on your doorstep and you can find your keys as suddenly out of nowhere you need to go. The lure of the impossible. So your suited (and in winter booted) in the car park and your bladder starts nagging. There’s no way the first fluid to grace that freshly dried rubber can be bodily. So you stick your stick under your arm and head to the horizon. We’ve all been there. Let face it, it’s ALWAYS a bonus on those freezing winter sessions.
Keeping a low profile.
They say you can run but you can’t hide. Not true. You can do both. The running surfer you saw on the beach checked the swell a few days ago and has carefully planned the perfect sickie. It started with a very audible tickly cough a couple of days before echoing wherever colleagues might hear it. Or maybe some random unexplained shuttle runs to the bathroom. Either way the seed has been planted. Sick day comes, the waves are pumping and the final hurdle is the dash across the car park and over the sand to the anonymous swarm in the water. Incognito in a sea of bobbing heads. Sorted.
Go hard or go home.
These days we’re just always in a rush. A session has to be fitted in around life unless your part of the 0.001% of people who get paid to play out there. If only we had more time. We all wish we could surf more so we have to maximise every opportunity. That means running to get into the water and leaving it till the last minute to get out… or maybe a few minutes late. You can always ask for forgiveness but you will never get a chance to ride that last wave in again.
Everyone follows a trend. At one time or another we are all lemmings, and like these furry little nutters we all follow each other blindly off the cliff. So if one runs for whatever reason, we all run. Including me, as demonstrated in the main image above.
We surf and we run. Long may it last.
We’ve barely scratched the surface here and we’re sure there are other reasons. You got any other suggestions? Comment below!
Written by Ed Verrill
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