If you’re a salty mermaid (or merman) who loves to plough through the brine on a board, flat spells can leave you feeling lost and adrift. After feverishly foraging through surf reports for a whisper of a wave, don’t despair just yet. When the ocean looks flatter than water on a platter, here are a few alternatives to wile away the hours.
Give your stick a wax job
When the waves are flat, yet your board’s surface looks like the moon’s (i.e., filled with waxy lumps), take this time to give your stick a tremendously good wax job. Think of it as spring (er, summer) cleaning for your surfboard.
Get out for some paddle practice
No one got rock-hard surfer arms by watching bad TV. Swap dreary fitness lengths at your local chlorinated pool for hearty strokes up and down the beach on a board. You may look a bit silly, but you’ll be left laughing in the lineup with a powerful, well-perfected paddle that’ll propel you into that set wave.
Try deep-water soloing
If you’re fortunate enough to live by a coast lined with crags, rock climbing above water is simply one of the best things in life. Slither and smear yourself up the stone — and when you lose a tentative toehold, just slip off the rock and into the ocean below.
Turn an old skateboard into a handplane
You could use an old flip-flop as a handplane, but since you’ve got time, take that skateboard gathering dust and borrow a buddy’s jigsaw. Within a few hours, you can carve out a handplane, drill in a couple of holes for a hand strap and wham, bam, thank you, ma’am, you’ve got yourself a nifty upcycled craft ready for the sea.
Organize a beach cleanup
Grab some buddies and spruce up your local beaches. Trawl the sand for odds and ends that you can upcycle, such as driftwood, and finish the day with a beach BBQ. Normally you’d be so busy surfing in the last light of the day that it’s a novelty to enjoy the sunset from the sand — with an ice-cold, frothy beer in hand.
Whittle some wood
After your beach cleanup, grab those pieces of old driftwood lurking around and a sharp knife and start whittling. No soup tastes better than that sampled with your own hand-carved cutlery.