Have You Ever Experienced Surf Guilt? - Stab Mag

Playing (Mostly) Exclusively On Stab Premium: Facing Monsters, Featuring Kerby & Cortney Brown

Guilty as charged. Art by Noa Emberson/@joystain

Have You Ever Experienced Surf Guilt?

You really should be surfing more.

premium // Dec 2, 2021
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Note: Every weekend, Stab Premium subscribers receive a newsletter called The Misc which features an illustration like you see above paired with a passage like you’ll read below. Want in? Subscribe here.

Are you familiar with the term “surf guilt?” 

I doubt you are. It’s not a term, really. However, the idea of feeling guilty about surfing is something I’d bet many of you know well. 

In the past, it used to be pretty straightforward. You’d feel guilty for surfing too much. “Too much” could be defined as so much that you were constantly late for work, or that you frequently missed important social gatherings, or that your obsession with surfing was so consuming that those around you found it to be inflammatory. 

Which may still be the case for some. But these days, for many people, I think the guilt now comes from the opposite direction. 

Surfing is good. It keeps the body healthy and the mind sharp. Yes, there are things like the risk of injury and the expense of a broken board and a constant buffet of potential annoyances for you to choose from and wildly exaggerate if you’d like to rob yourself of some joy. 

But let’s be honest — you can find a way to annoy yourself no matter what you’re doing. So, surfing is good and I’m done hearing otherwise.

It’s actually so good that people now feel guilty for not doing it enough.

How many times have you, or a close friend, muttered, “I should be surfing more?” 

And it’s not just an empty statement. There’s genuine guilt in it. Like surfing is a test that you should have studied more for, or a lifestyle change you’ve been failing to implement. 

This form of surf guilt could be brought on after having allowed a good run of swell come and go without a single wave ridden. Or by paddling out one day, and feeling as though your surfboard is an alien object every time your feet press into it. Or even just by driving by the beach on a fun day and not having your board in the car. 

As an aside, never get caught without a board. This is simply a matter of personal safety, which is paramount to Stab.

Anyway, if ever you experience surf guilt, the good news is that the solution is exactly as simple as it seems.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

The Stab Interview With Jordy Smith

"If I won a gold medal, yeah, I'd probably kick out. I'd have one up…

Jul 19, 2024

How Does A Board Brand Licensing Model Work?

The Lost Stub 3.0 Joyride.

Jul 18, 2024

Challenger Series Losers Win Consolation Prizes At Namibian Desert Casino

"Some crew were saying it was a 3/10, but for me, it was 10/10. The…

Jul 18, 2024

How Teahupo’o Slungshot A Surf-Mat Toting Photographer Into An Induced Coma

Byron Mcloughlin tells the tale of his secondary drowning.

Jul 18, 2024

On Making A Living As A Gen-Z Surf Photographer And Surviving Hyper-Rare Cancer

This 21-year-old protégé of Ryan Miller and Morgan Maassen is back and #opentowork.

Jul 17, 2024

In This Instalment Of MTV Cribs… Ethan Ewing

A character-revealing profile on the Olympian and World #5 + a complimentary Fiji preview

Jul 17, 2024

Jake Marshall Made It To 4th In The World And His Best Friend Is To Blame

From combatants, to housemates, to secretive CT surfer/shaper.

Jul 16, 2024

2024’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test Star Is…

Massively overqualified. 

Jul 16, 2024

Kelly Slater, Sierra Kerr + Erin Brooks Awarded Role Of Cats In Penultimate CT Pigeon Parade

A deadly lineup of wildcards just got invited to Fiji, the last event to determine…

Jul 16, 2024

Watch: Facing Monsters, Featuring Kerby & Cortney Brown

“You don’t know whether he’s gonna get the best wave or the last wave of…

Jul 16, 2024

Teahupo’o Rang — Who Answered?

An Olympic-sized swell hits Tahiti two weeks early, delivers near-death and glory.

Jul 15, 2024

Kelly Slater, John Florence, Jack Johnson & Hundreds More Paddle Out At Pipeline To Remember Tamayo Perry

A royal send-off: Oahu celebrates the life of a North Shore Icon.

Jul 15, 2024

Modern Debate: Wax Or Traction?

Mason Ho, Noa Deane, Creed McTaggart and more share their theories on grip. 

Jul 14, 2024

Stay Where Stab Stays

Waves out front, parties every week, 60/40 (female-majority) clientele — what's not to love?

Jul 14, 2024

Beyond The Fedora: How Fernando Aguerre Became Surfing’s Master-Puppeteer

From DJing and ding repair, to law and Reef girls, to the Olympics and beyond.

Jul 13, 2024

How An Encounter In Texas Led To Noah Beschen Signing With A Swiss Watch Brand

The Stab Interview with the 23-year-old who Jordy considers the world's best free surfer.

Jul 12, 2024

Bruce Irons, Koa Rothman, Peter And John Mel Sign With Bodybuilding x Surf Brand

Darc Sport plants their black flag in Oahu and Santa Cruz to stake claim in…

Jul 12, 2024

The Best Surfing I’ve Ever Seen: Erik Knutson

Dave Rastovich + John Florence catch a sketchy little plane to a funky little farmhouse.

Jul 12, 2024