Scientists have found that the brains of risk-seeking athletes have some things in common with those of drug users, including the experience of withdrawal symptoms (dude, that’s why I feel crappy when there is no surf).

Surfing AddictionIt’s been almost one week without surf now and I am starting to go a little crazy.


Sometimes beer helps, but only a little.

People ask me “are you addicted to surfing?”

Sure I am, but why?

I wanted to dig a little deeper into the physicality of surfing addiction.

Psychology today talks about something called dopamine, I am sure you have heard of it. In an article by Philip Newton titled From Mouse to Man, he describes dopamine as “a neurotransmitter, one of those chemicals that is responsible for transmitting signals in between the nerve cells (neurons) of the brain.”

You know that feeling you get when you take a big drop?

That is dopamine bro.

Medial New Today cites that just the taste of an alcoholic drink can trigger dopamine which explains why I like beer so much.

All joking aside, it’s not the alcohol or the surfing that is getting your neurotransmitter to get all funky and feel-good inside.

You see the brain has this bank of memories that associate one thing to another and when that memory bank is triggered by something that gives us pleasure over and over that experience association triggers the release of dopamine.

The Stoke Report compares surfing to crack and although I have never consumed that drug I think he is right on target, he writes, “a narcotic high is eerily similar to a good wave–intense, incredibly pleasurable, and far too brief. And, no matter how good the high, the fiend quickly forgets and pursues another fix.”

Are you a sensation seeker?

Take this online, it will score your dopiness or dope-ness as I like to call it.

I scored 39 out of 40, but that’s no surprise.

I did find something that helps me in these down times, it’s shaping a surfboard.

It’s easy too, there are kits that come with all the essentials, instruction booklets, and even how-to videos.

You can make any board you like from 5’ to 12’.

It’s really fun too, you get to use your hands for something different than typing on a keyboard.

Try it—it’s dope . . . more information here.

Derek Dodds

Derek Dodds is founder of the world's first ecological surf company Wave Tribe, surfboard shaper, world traveler, author and Mini Simmons enthusiast.

View all posts

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Meet Surfer Derek Dodds

Derek Dodds | Surfer, Shaper, Traveler
I'm Derek Dodds, the guy behind I love surfing, shaping, adventure travel, IPAs, useful gear, and all things related to the sea.