Does your child have low self esteem? surfing can help

Surfing has been proved to increase confidence, self esteem, social skills and positive well being in children

In 2014 the UK Health Department ‘NHS’compiled a report on a pilot surfing program involving 100 children. The report detailed how structured surfing courses impacted on the emotional health of 100 vulnerable young people in Cornwall and Devon. ‘The Wave Project’

The children participated in a 6 week course and by the end of the sessions there was a significant change in child well-being across an array of 10 measures including self-esteem, positive psychological functioning*1, calmness, social trust and enjoying being outside, being fit and active. Children also overwhelmingly felt better, more confident, happier, fitter, made friends and had fun.

As well as the significant, immediate improvements, over 70% of children carried on surfing. They joined and still regularly attend a surf club up to a year later and may also attend other social activities around that. Engaging in an active hobby, in group settings and in their local communities is a notable impact of the Wave Project.

Benefits of Surfing

The results of analysis (correlations) suggest that the nature of the intervention, i.e. a physically challenging outdoor activity (surfing), experienced with other people in a friendly, supported, and fun way, promotes this positive well-being along with improvements in self-esteem and feeling calm. The results also suggest the idea of ‘positive risk’ and enjoyment as promoting this.

  • The findings support the value of fun, active, interventions with elements of positive risk, as promoting well-being. It is possible that the effects relate to surf, beach and sea environments in particular.

Surfing is great for young people who are struggling with personal or emotional difficulties to rediscover fun in their lives; to feel like they are making progress with something; and to help them develop a sense of responsibility and self-reliance (if they can learn to surf, they can learn to do other things too!). Children can also focus on their physical health and understand that it is more fun to be fit and healthy, and to spend time outside.

  1. Help vulnerable children and young people improve their confidence and self esteem
  2. Develop core life skills, such as following instructions, teamwork, social skills, responsibility and self-reliance
  3. Reduce isolation by enabling children and young people to make new friends and build social skills
  4. Help to focus on and improve physical health.
  5. Provide an opportunity for fun and enjoyment outside

Build your child’s confidence this Christmas give the gift of surfing


Posted by Big Wave Surfing School in Blog, Homepage Posts, Interesting Articles, Surf School News