We’ve all seen the movies where beach bums skipping class for a surf session are depicted as bad students, or just downright dumb. But don’t believe what you see on the screen. Surfing actually offers hardcore intellectual stimulation on many levels. Those teen flick slackers aren’t fools—they just know there’s no better classroom than Mother Nature.
Anyone who’s balanced work, family and other responsibilities with surf time knows it takes major organizational capabilities. Syncing your schedule with the best waves, often getting up very early, is a total exercise in diligence and focus. So next time there’s an event to schedule, call on the surfer in your life. They’re great at figuring out the details—and will probably have things wrapped up in time to catch a few waves.
Math and Science
Surfers have hands-on experience with scientific concepts non-boarders learn from books. If you want to know how the world works, get out and dive into the rhythms of nature. Whether making calculations based on tide tables and sunrise times, or becoming accustomed to the physics of how waves are formed, surfers get many opportunities to explore the world around them. Surfers also become amateur naturalists when taking in the scene around them, as observation of animals and weather patterns are part of any good session.
Coordination and Spatial Awareness
There is so much to pay attention to when you paddle out. From the size and curvature of the waves themselves to the wildlife around you, to the fellow surfers sharing your space, you have to be aware at all times. Learning to maneuver your own body is one of the most overlooked forms of intelligence, but it’s hugely important nonetheless. So if you’d rather hop on your board than bury your nose in a book, never fear, you’re still building plenty of smarts.
The Brain Boost of Getting Outside
Time spent away from screens helps clear minds weighed down with excess stimulation. Spending even 20 minutes out in nature reaps rewards. That nature break gives your brain a moment to reset. And only when you allow that period of rest can you add more facts and figures to an already overextended memory. So next time you’re feeling a little unfocused and out of sorts, do the smart thing and head for the coast.
The Mental Benefits of Exercise
You knew that exercise helps strengthen the rest of your body, but did you realize your brain needs physical activity as much as the rest of you does? When you get moving, blood flow increases to your brain and improves your memory. You even help your brain to grow new neuronal connections.
Now knowing how much surfing hones your smarts, you’ll never skip a sunrise session again!