Srinivas Rao Talks Surfing 101

When Srinivas Rao isn’t twiddling his thumbs, waiting for that perfect, deep blue, luscious curvature of a wave, he’s all over the Interwebs, interviewing people, talking about things like relationship marketing and making money online.

Srini, friend of Nerve Rush HQ, takes some time out of his day to teach us a little bit about surfing.

Srinivas RaoSo, surfing. How did you get into it? What were some of the initial challenges you faced as a beginner?

I think it was inevitable that I would eventually surf. I went to business school in Malibu, which happens to be a world class surf destination. I did a summer internship in San Diego, and I lived in Brazil for 6 months. All signs kind of pointed to the ocean. But oddly enough, it took about 15 months before it became a regular part of my life. Two days before I left Brazil, I was in this small beach town called Garopaba. I finally figured out how to stand up on my board for the first time and that was the start of a lifelong journey. The first year of surfing is probably one of the hardest because you’re uncoordinated, you don’t know anything about surf conditions, and most other people in the water find you annoying since you have no idea what you’re doing. The hardest part in my opinion is learning how to stand up (a rather fitting metaphor for life). I couldn’t do it the first 15 or 20 times I went surfing.

You’ve lived and surfed in many different cities and beaches. What are your favorite spots?

Tamarindo, Costa Rica is actually one of the best places in the world I’ve surfed. On a good day, the waves just go forever, the water is warm and the scenery is unforgettable. Despite the frigid water, I love California. It’s home and I love the site of familiar faces in the lineup. In California my favorite spots are San Clemente, Cardiff Reef, Venice Beach, and a place called Sunset Point.

If you gave 3 tips to a beginning surfer, what would they be?

  • A guy I met in a bar once told me to surf 50 times. That way, you’re too invested to quit. It’s great advice for anything you want to learn.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Most people are terrible when they start. I’m Indian and not genetically predisposed for anything athletic. So if I figured it out, anybody can.
  • All it takes is one good wave. Once that happens your life as you know it will never be the same.

What kind of physical training should a surfer focus on? Any muscle groups to target?

I’m the worst person to ask about this because I don’t do anything other than surf. I skateboard now because I’m living inland. But to the best of my knowledge, upper body strength makes a huge difference. So, do lots of pushups.

How much does surfing gear cost?

A really lousy foam board from Costco will run you $100. A wetsuit will run you $200. The beautiful thing about surfing is that once you buy your gear it doesn’t cost anything. I always like to say it’s the perfect sport for the unemployed since it takes a shitload of time and doesn’t cost any money. But you can spend a small fortune on surfboards. When you start buying real surfboards you should expect spend anywhere between $250-$500.

Do you have a dream wave? Can we join you when you’re ready to tackle it?

There are a few dream waves. There’s one that I never made it to in Costa Rica called Pavones. It’s the world’s longest left and breaks for about 3 minutes during a good swell. My perfect wave is the one that goes forever, even it’s only 3-4 feet high. I’d love it if you join me. Surfing is always better when you have friends to share the experience with.

[image via Nathan]

Alan Perlman
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  1. skooloflife says:

    Thanks for having me guys. This is such a fun subject to talk about since it’s not about blogging :). HEHE. I guess it’s what I live for ,so that makes it easy.

    • AlanPerlman says:

      @skooloflife Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us, Srini. I still have yet to try surfing, but when I do, let’s hope it’s in some exotic country with you showing me the ropes!

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