We knew we loved surfing, but we had no idea what it could teach us about dating. We officially love it even more. Thanks to the new book Everything I Know About Dating I Learned Through Surfing by SoCal locals Tara Brouwer and Nancy Spooner, we realize that hitting the waves can be a lesson in how to hit the singles scene, too. We talked to the book’s authors about how this enlightening concept came to be.
How did you come up this concept that surfing relates to dating?
Spooner: I have been surfing for five years. I learned at 36 years old on a post-divorce all-girl surf trip to El Salvador. The concept of the book came to me when I was back in San Diego, new to surfing and new to dating again. Every time a guy gave me a surf tip, I would giggle and think it was great dating advice.
What do you think is the overall lesson surfing can teach us about dating?
Spooner: To be good at them both, you need to practice. And the end result should be fun. If it's not, then change things up a bit—new break, new board, new man.
Brouwer: If you're not having much luck in dating or surfing, YOU are the common denominator, which means you have the control to change things.
You both tell your various dating stories throughout the book. Were some of them difficult to retell?
Spooner: Some stories were harder to tell than others. But I do believe in the lessons learned, and hopefully women can learn something from my stories and avoid making the same mistakes.
Brouwer: This book has been good therapy for me. After reading these stories over and over in the editing process, I realized that most of the mistakes I made in dating had nothing to do with me—I just didn't know then what I wanted, deserved or how to even go about getting those things.
Tell us about your relationship with the ocean and surfing.
Spooner: I grew up in SoCal, and I have always had a major crush on the ocean. I became a triathlete in my 20s, so I swam in the ocean a lot and always found it extraordinary. Nowadays, I surf year-round. If I am out of the water too long, I swear my gills are going to dry up. My husband can sense my anxiety, and he encourages me to jump in when he can tell I need to surf. There is not a milestone I don't mark on my board these days. I always celebrate my December birthday in the water, my bachelorette party was a surf session, as was my wedding day. Something about the cold salt water on my face just feels right. Surfing changed my life in so many ways.
Brouwer: I've always loved being around big bodies of water—there's just something so powerful and yet calming about them. I love surfing, and I get the highest feeling in the world when riding a wave—it's like walking on water. And then I'm energized and amped all day. Surfing is honestly like an emotional roller coaster for me. I guess I've always loved roller coasters.
What would your advice be to someone who wanted to start surfing?
Spooner: Just do it! Get some private lessons and then practice, practice, practice!
And to someone who wanted to start dating?
Spooner: Just do it! Get some lessons (advice from our book) and practice, practice, practice! (Laughs.)
What do you hope people take away from reading your book?
Spooner: That surfing and dating can be and should be fun if you do them the right way.
Brouwer: I hope that people will get a good laugh and also not make some of the mistakes we have.
Learn more about the book at SurfDateBook.com!