Why Every Surfer Should Keep a Wave Log

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Divers do it, sailors do it, and now I’m making the case for why surfers should do it too. Keeping a wave log is one way to improve your surfing ability, have a fun record to look back on, and requires you to be mentally present for your surf session.

Why should you keep a log?

Keeping a log of your surf sessions encourages you to be more mindful in your surf session. We often have a tendency to let our thoughts wander, focusing on the past or the future without appreciating the experience of the present. At a bare minimum, keeping a surf log will have you focus on the water conditions, the waves you’re catching, and how you’re feeling.

From a more practical standpoint, the surf log also helps you pinpoint what surf size, swell, and wind conditions you tend to have the most fun with. You’ll spend more time actually surfing and less time driving around from spot to spot thanks to having a physical record on hand of what works best.

Keeping a surf log also helps boost your confidence with surfing. Many times, we tend to dwell on the times we didn’t do well or got skunked in the lineup. Flipping through entry after entry of waves that have been caught shows that no matter what your day is like today, you’re capable of catching more in the future.

How to keep a log

How you keep a surf log is completely up to you. A few key things to include are the surf conditions, where you surfed, how crowded it was, and how many waves you caught. You can add as much detail as you like, noting who you went with, any wildlife seen, how you felt during the session, and what areas of surfing you want to work on.

Keep a small notepad in somewhere you’ll frequently see it or add it as a section of your greater journal if you keep one. For girls who’d rather type than put pen to paper, consider starting a blog, keeping a word document, or using an app like Surf Journal to log in your sessions.

If you’re working on a new surf skill, like paddling into bigger waves or focusing on your turns, you can also use the log to track that type of progress.

You won’t regret it

Any time you pick up your surf log, it’s sure to transport you back to a moment in your life that gives a small glimpse into where you used to surf, what you felt back then, and who you surfed with. At the very least, it’s a small memento that will surely bring a smile to your face whenever you flip through the entries. At most, it’s a great tool for encouraging reflection and focus, skills that are essential for becoming a more mindful and progressive surfer.