These Are the 7 Stages of Surf Withdrawal - KIALOA

April 14, 2017

These Are the 7 Stages of Surf Withdrawal


Anyone else get cold, clammy, and shaky during long flat spells? Photo: Jonas Vogedes /

Call it stoke, call it obsession, call it addiction. Whichever you prefer, when waves are plentiful the ocean has a gravitational pull that bends the will of men and women of surf in such a way that getting to the beach becomes the preeminent desire. Schoolwork, work work, and housework are eschewed. Family ties and carnal desires be damned. When it’s firing, you’re out there.

But when it’s not, it sucks. When flat days compound into spells, the average surfer gets itchy, jonesy, for the next inkling of swell energy to show up at their local. As it happens some of the greatest researchers and scientists who seek to understand this sort of thing (and are totally not made up) have determined that there are in fact seven stages of surf withdrawal that everyone goes through during extended periods of wave starvation. We found it prudent to go through them so that surfers everywhere might be able to understand their condition and seek help accordingly:

1. Disappointment

A period of melancholy occurs after you’ve juiced the dying energy of a swell, and there’s nothing exciting to look forward to in the forseeable forecast. It stems from the uncertainty of not knowing when you’ll be able to get in the water next. Expect to feel like you’re walking through a haze, and that things you once enjoyed post-surf (be it breakfast burritos or bagels) to feel somehow less satisfying.

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