The Sound of Surf

We listen to the ocean differently.


While some may listen to waves breaking on the beach as a calming mechanism to lull their brain activity… for a surfer it’s more likely to stoke the imagination.

A 3 second sound bite could lead to hours of day dreaming.

‘I wonder what that wave is like. Maybe it’s a perfect right hander stretching for miles. It sounds soft… must be a longboard wave… or maybe it’s just high tide. Yea, I bet this wave barrels at low tide.’

More often than not, the waves we dream up are better than the ones we actually get. But there are those special occasions where the ocean surprises us, or, more accurately, we surprise ourselves. The ones where we come out of the water physically tired but mentally energized. These are the occasions that imprint our memories and fuel our future dreams.


We often hear what we’re going to ride before we see it, which plays in to an important part of our surf imagination.

Waking up before sunrise in anticipation of a new swell, the only sense I have about whether the forecast was right is what I can hear. Woah, sounds like it’s crankin’!

My imagination starts spinning up vivid images of perfect waves or massive bangers. Did Surfline underestimate this one?

Better grab my step up!


Surfers have the reputation of being out of tune with their surroundings. Spacey, air headed, or absent-minded might be a few adjectives a landlocked muggle would apply when asked about surfers. And in small slices of the day (when we’re dreaming of perfect waves), this description might be apt.

But in the water, certainly, we are attuned – in tune with our surroundings. In fact the heightened awareness and need to focus solely on what we are doing in that exact moment is one of the key factors that contribute to the surfer’s high (and subsequent addiction).

A surfer in the line up who is out of tune is like a guitarist playing off key. Everything else is flowing in sync, each small part coming together for an altogether smooth rhythm, except one piece throwing it off. It only takes one surfer out of sync in a lineup to cause dissonance. 

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