Why Older Surfers Are The Best Surfers

February 28, 2022

Whether life-long surfers or new to the sport, older surfers have a few advantages when it comes to surfing.

You might be surprised to hear this. Surfing is an intense sport, after all. Wouldn’t the best surfers be the strongest, bravest young lads and ladies in the line-up? 

Think again. Surfing offers many benefits for older adults, and it has no age requirements. Some of the best surfers we see at Beach Break are little kids, grandparents, and everyone in between. That’s because surfing is a truly comprehensive sport, requiring the right knowledge, mindset, and careful technique as well as physical fitness. 

Here are a few reasons we see older surfers dominating out in the water. Of course, people are different and not every 50+ surfer will check all of these boxes. But on average, this is what we see with our older surfers who come to stay at Beach Break.

Older Surfers Have More Experience 

A older lady going out of the water with her surf instructor.

We don’t just mean experience with surfing– though that obviously helps! Older surfers have more experience with, well, just about everything (TikTok aside). There’s a good chance some of those experiences will translate to surfing.

An older surfer might have spent more time on the ocean, giving them familiarity with waves, wind, and other ocean elements. We’ve seen older people who are new to surfing, but have spent years fishing, swimming, or sailing. Because ocean conditions have so much to do with surfing, this knowledge can serve as a huge advantage. 

Of course, if an older surfer has been surfing for a while, they probably have earned some serious skills! To have 20, 30, 40 years of experience surfing makes one seriously capable surfer. 

Older Surfers Have a Better Mindset

A women surfing the wave.

So much of surfing comes down to mindset. Surfing is filled with challenges, risks, and obstacles– and that’s on a good day! If you’re someone who gets discouraged easily, or doesn’t have a healthy risk-reward balance, you’re going to struggle in your surfing journey.

Older people have been through the trenches. They’ve had more ups, downs, and in-betweens over their lifetime than someone in their 20s or 30s can imagine. With age comes wisdom, whether that’s knowing the value of perseverance or recognizing your own limits. 

In our experience, older surfers are less likely to be discouraged or impatient when learning to surf. They’re more likely to maintain a “learner’s mindset”– even if they’re highly experienced. Life has taught them there’s no shortcuts to success, and that hard work and a positive attitude pays off in the end. 

Older Surfers Make Better Decisions

Surfers have to make fast decisions under pressure. Which wave to go for, where to drop in on a wave, whether to paddle out in the first place, and when to head back to shore– these are all key decisions that have immediate and potentially serious consequences. 

A women riding a wave.

A younger surfer– whether experienced in surfing or not– may be more likely to make the riskier decision. They might go for a wave that’s moving too fast for them, or that too many people are going for already. They might decide to paddle out under dangerous conditions, or resist calling it when conditions change. 

Older people often make better decisions than younger people. They have more experience, and are often more rational and less swayed by emotions or others’ opinions. This superior decision-making can make older surfers better at surfing and less likely to get hurt. 

Older Surfers Don’t Care About Cool 

A women surfing right next to another surfer laying on his board.

Surfing is a one-person sport, but that doesn’t make it an anti-social one. Surfers are often surrounded by other people, whether other surfers in the water or spectators on the beach. 

Younger surfers might feel pressured to perform or look cool in front of others. This can lead them to make dumb decisions, but it can also seriously impact their performance as the social pressure throws them off their game. 

Older surfers are less likely to care what others think. They’re less worried about impressing others and more focused on the surfing itself. This helps them not only surf better and progress more quickly, but to have more fun out in the water. 

Older Surfers Have More to Give

An older lady going out into the sea with her surfing instructor.

One of the greatest benefits of getting older is having more time and resources to spend doing the things you love. Whether that’s exploring a new hobby or doubling-down on a favorite activity, having greater freedom of time and resources certainly can’t hurt. 

We get a lot of older surfers at Beach Break who return every year, often for weeks at a time. Some even go on multiple surf trips a year, traveling the world with friends and family. Whether they’re retired, working part-time, or living on passive income, they have the time and resources to spend on what they love.

Older Surfers Love Beach Break! 

There’s a lot about Beach Break Surf Camp in Playa Venao, Panama that appeals to older surfers. For one, we pride ourselves on our relaxed, laid-back atmosphere– free of the intense parties that many surf destinations offer. (You can find those parties nearby, but we keep things pretty chill at Beach Break!)

Our location in Playa Venao, Panama is also ideal. With year-round waves suitable for all skill levels and a relatively uncrowded line-up, you can enjoy some of the best surfing in Central America without having to fight the crowds. 

Finally, we simply offer the best vibes, whether you’re an older surfer, a young family, or somewhere in between. It’s hard to describe the incredible community and atmosphere we have here at Beach Break, but it’s why our guests come back time and time again. You’ll just have to come and experience it yourself. 

Browse our affordable surf camp packages, and don’t hesitate to contact us so we can help you plan your ideal surf vacation.

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