Life Lessons Learnt Surfing South AfricaPriceless pearls of wisdom taught by Mother Nature

Chad Schwab


7 months ago in LIFE

I have been surfing on the Bluff, Durban since shortly after getting out of nappies and I regard the ocean as my ‘second Mother.’ She has taught me many lessons in my time. Some being the greatest moments of my life, others a lot less than great!

Priceless pearls of wisdom taught by Mother Nature:

Never give up- The ocean, at times is a cruel place to find yourself. It can be a constant battle against the elements. Relentless, crashing waves, howling winds, pulling currents keeping you in one place, bringing on the hopeless feeling of getting nowhere, often so strong that with all the paddling fitness in the world, against it you still get stuck, But persistence is key. Never allowing the ocean to get the better of you. Pushing on in hard times.

Hard times, in the ocean, like in life, do not last forever. Eventually the ocean gives a small gap, a break from the continuous waves. When you see that gap, that’s when you push just a little harder and break free from the stagnant feeling of not going anywhere.

Always show respect – I feel that respect should be shown where respect is due.  The ocean commands respect like no other, behaving with grace, reverence and respect of the all-powerful ocean is the only way to enjoy and preserve her beauty.  Taking this realisation, I choose in my daily life to respect my fellow man, Mother Nature and myself, it’s the only sustainable way. There will be times where you know it isn’t safe, beyond your ability’s and choose to just watch, and train harder to be prepared for next time

Not all waves are the same- Every wave can be perceived as either good or bad, depending how you ride it. As in life, we have the moment-to-moment choice in how we respond to circumstantial waves that come our way. Listing the choices you have when you see a wave come your way in surfing you can either duck under, give it all you got, get smashed and or who knows end up riding the barrel of your life.

How you perceive the situation will create your reality.

Learn to relax during a wipeout- Learning to stay relaxed during turbulent times is essential to survival. Both in and out of the water. When life isn’t going quite as planned and throwing everything it’s got at you. Stay calm, don’t panic, and when you can, swim peacefully to the surface.

Recognise and enjoy the small things – Life is made of small beautiful moments, like those unexpected perfect waves with no one around, appreciate and enjoy each one that comes your way.

It’s proven to make you happy –  The mental state of being “stoked” is a real thing. It has to do with ionized water particles in the air that you either inhale or ingest. So if you’re feeling blue, jump in the blue stuff!

Humans as a species derive such pleasure from the ocean, as a food source, as a healer, as a playground, as a teacher.  I’m grateful to have been a student of the most magnificent teacher. I am eternally grateful I am a student of this magnificent Teacher.

Also here are a few shots taken by Sam Wise Howard from the last 13 week adventure through SA, which are just simply beautiful, because life is beautiful.