– Take the first decent wave. The search for the BBD (bigger better deal) means you’re scared or caught up in perfection. Don’t waste your time in the water floating.
– You will wipe out, you will get water up your nose, your hair will look stupid, you will pick the wrong major, rack up credit card debt or marry the wrong person. It’s ok, there’s another wave right behind this one. Paddle back out and try again.
– Someone else will always be better than you and for a long time everyone else will be better than you. That’s ok, surf your own wave.
– Find a good teacher like Mary of Girl in the Curl, learn the basics, then go play. You don’t need an expert at your side all the time. You’ve got this.
– Try every day, even when it’s windy, cold, small, your friends can’t go, you’re tired, it’s crowded, there’s a shark – wait, I take that back. If there’s a shark, take a day off.
– If you show up in a sailor hat or mohawk, you better be good. When you call that much attention to yourself, be sure there’s something there to back it up.
– Share your waves. Every wave can be a party wave. There’s always room for one more. If you don’t share, people will give you unflattering nicknames and hate you forever.
– If Miniature George Hamilton is a total jerk, flip him off in your mind and move on. Do not under any circumstances say the F-word in front of your children because they will ask you every single day for the rest of your life if you’re going to stay it again.
– Do hard things. Surf big waves. Surf with people better than you and someday you’ll be those people.
– Wear flip-flops and get a pedicure even if you have man feet. Wear sunscreen to avoid matching your man feet with a face like a leather satchel.
– Carry waterproof paper and a pen in your wetsuit because all your best ideas will happen on the water.
– Find mentors in the water and watch them. Watch where they line up, watch which waves they take and which ones they pass. Watch how they ride the wave and how they end it. Hint: they are Hawaiian and never wearing a sailor hat.
– A sunset on the water will cure almost anything.