Here’s the scenario: you’re no longer a twenty-something surf vagabond. You’re no longer living that particular dream. You’ve got yourself a steady job and a steady babe. Living off rice and beans was great for a while but eventually you caved and got one of those dreaded nine-to-fives that everyone kept talking about. Life is different, but it’s good. It’s fun to have food in your belly and health insurance but now you only have one week a year to hop on a plane and get absolutely shacked out of your mind. And, if you plan on keeping that nice little relationship of yours, you most definitely need to bring your girlfriend or boyfriend along. Here’s how to score waves on your vacation and keep your relationship intact.
Go Somewhere You Will Both Enjoy
This is actually the easy part. Observe: Hey babe, want to go to Hawaii? Costa Rica? Australia? France? South Africa? Honestly, if you can’t figure this part out, I can’t help you. In fact, thanks to books like Eat, Pray, Love, you may even be able to convince your partner that going to Bali was their idea.
Stay Somewhere Nice
There is an abundance of superlative surf spots in dangerous third world locations. Avoid them. Just because bed bugs, lumpy mattresses, and machine guns don’t deter you from a perfect right pointbreak does not mean it’s okay to drag your significant other along. While the the fun parts of Mexico, most of Central America, and half of Sub-Saharan Africa just got crossed off, those trips are best reserved for the single and childless. Spend the extra money, go somewhere safe and beautiful, get a nice hotel or rental property and give your significant other the trip they deserve. Remember, nice places have distractions like day spas and pool decks, and distractions equal more surf time for you.
Do Things Together
You’re in a new country! Explore! Go to a waterfall together. Ride horses around on the beach. Go scuba diving. Go to a museum. Eat the local food. Dance the local dance. You should be doing this stuff anyway, sharing it with the person you love will enhance the experience.
Surf Early, Sleep When Dead
In most places, the best surf conditions occur early. Use this to your advantage. You can squeeze in a long session before breakfast and then have the whole day to do things together with your partner. If you spend all-day surfing you’re a jerk. If you surf early, everyone is happy.
Check the Forecast
Track the swell and know which days will be best. Plan one or two surf-days based on the swell and then plan one or two non-surf-days and do whatever your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to do.
There’s a good chance that at one point you’re going to be all dressed up, sipping a mojito, watching perfect barrels reel down the point. Don’t complain that you’re missing it. You’re not. If you followed the above advice you already scored in the morning and you will catch the peak of the swell. Sunburns and noodle arms are great and all, but this trip is about both of you.
Give Him or Her a Lesson
This is practically a must. You can accomplish so many things with this little gesture. First, teaching someone to surf is insanely fun and exceptionally gratifying. Second, if your girlfriend or boyfriend has a great time, not only will they have a better trip, but they will also have a better understanding of your love for surfing, which translates into more water time for you. If they have a really great time, they might keep surfing, and a few years down the line you may not have to plan a trip with a non-surfing partner. Go somewhere warm, rent a big ol’ longboard, and share some stoke with the one you love.