The Art of… Couch Surfing

… In 8 easy steps

A time-honoured tradition of the surfer, there are numerous advantages to crashing on couches as opposed to paying for accommodation. Longevity is the key to making real savings, and by adhering to a few rules of couch etiquette you can dramatically increase the length and comfort of your stay. Not only do you save money, but normally you get a better taste of the local surf and social scene. Parties, bar-b-q’s, local knowledge on the waves, intel on interesting neighbours, the list of pluses really is endless.

1. The approach. If it’s for less than a week say “a couple of days” – it sounds better. Then, if you play your cards right, your stay might prolong indefinitely. For longer stay, think about splitting it into multiple shorter stays (very possibly rotating with other couches in the area.)

2. The refrigerator. Couple of things to say about fridges. Get used to sleeping with its all-night hum, one of the downfalls of open-plan interiors. Don’t cane other peoples’ stuff out of the fridge. As a general rule, keep it filled to a reasonable degree with the basics like milk, juice, chocolate and beer. Shout dinner at least once a week, even if it’s only take-out pizza.

3. In the surf. Sounds really obvious, but you’d be amazed how many times a guest, in eagerness to impress the host has snaked the hand that shelters him. Avoid doing this. If you see one of the other housemates that you don’t really get on with, or perhaps made a stupid yet honest comment to last night drunk that you now regret for tactical reasons get a wave, be sure to tell em how hard they ripped it.

4. Be low key. Don’t have a huge pile of stuff, spilling everywhere dominating the lounge visuals. Police up your shit each morning, zip up your bag, slide it behind the couch before anyone gets up. An experienced couch dweller knows to remove all visible signs of presence before brekkie. Think: minimal lounge impact = longer couch contract.

5. Hygiene & grooming. Don’t have 45-minute showers. Don’t leave huge puddles and wet towels everywhere. Don’t leave enormous receipts in the toilet. When you wake up, open a window. You don’t want people trying to enjoy their Frosties with the musty odour of man sleep hanging heavy in the air.

6. Cleaning. Studies show that most normal human males dislike cleaning. Even if it’s just 5 minutes per day in the kitchen/bathroom, chances are the boys are gonna notice, and gonna be stoked. If you see the dishes stacking up, do them. All the little things make a difference. If you really wanna kiss arse you can think about changing their wax too, but it’d have to be a pretty damn nice pad…

7. Check the surf. Get up early, check it. Don’t loll about groaning and farting all morning in your scratcher. Get up, check the waves, take the rubbish out, get a loaf of bread. If tensions of any kind start to surface between housemates/love interests, go check the surf. Check it regularly, be known as the bringer of good tidings like, “that bank’s starting to turn on now” or the giver of useful info like, “nah, the winds totally on it now.”

8. Spend the money you saved wisely.
By wisely we mean on things like new boards, wetsuits, plane tickets, heavy-duty boardbags with wheels, tanks of petty, visas, bribes, Surf Europe Magazine, sacks of brown rice, fishing gear, anything that might prolong, deepen and enrich your forays about our watery planet. Don’t waste it on crap.


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