How to Deal with Flat Spells

Posted by James Marshall on

I write this blog from the beautiful, but excruciatingly flat city of Cambridge in the UK (in fact, its not just flat, its landlocked!). I have been here for one week with three more to go, and following the consistency of the Portuguese coast I am starting to get serious surfing withdrawals.

This got me thinking of the best ways to deal with flat spells or time away from the waves. It is something I should be relatively well versed in after living in London, and growing up during my teenage years in a very swell starved region. Ok, so London had some dark, deep tubes of its own, but of a completely different variety...

I have three strategies I utilise in a vain attempt at keeping my sanity when away from the ocean, but welcome to your suggestions too so PLEASE comment below (I need all the help I can get right now) and I hop the below provides you with some respite.

Surf Content; Magazines and Videos

Surf Content

In addition to magazines (Trim, my personal favourite is pictured above), the internet is awash with surfing content. In a previous post I talked about the best sources for keeping your entertained on the internet, and that wasn't even the tip of the iceberg. Of course, Youtube can be hit and miss (segments from nearly every surf movie being the 'hit', and some out of focus Go-Pro footage of someone learning being the 'miss') but sites like STAB pump out high quality content on a daily basis!


Ellie Jean Coffey Skating (courtesy of Stab Mag)

Surfing the concrete won't ever replicate the feeling of surfing fully but it sure can be good fun. I must confess I certainly don't skate as much as I used to when I was younger, but with skate companies creating looser and more 'surfey' options (like this one here) I am increasingly tempted to shred the streets again. Professional surfer Ellie Jean Coffey (pictured above) became the focus of a small internet based freak-out with a skateboarding video she posted earlier this year (vid here).

Go for a paddle or swim anyway!


If you're still near the ocean get in the water anyway. You know exactly how revitalising a quick swim in the ocean is so that alone is a great reason. However, if you have the time, take your board and keep that paddle fitness up - the added benefit here is your fitness levels will be better off when the flat spell finishes and that next big, clean swell hits town! Joel Parkinson takes it to the next level and takes his boards into the swimming pool as part of his training, as per the 21 days series.

Get all SETT prepared for the next session

SETT Surf Rash Cream

Of course, time out of the water can mean your skin has a chance to soften up again and you can find yourself susceptible to surf rash and other ailments upon your return to the water...lucky for you, SETT Surf Rash Cream is the only post-surf skincare solution you will need to soothe your burn (rash, sunburn or other) and get you back enjoying that new swell again ASAP!

What else do you do to handle the wave starved times? Comment below and let us know!


Thanks once again – Talk soon,

James (Mammoth)

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