A handy raft of excuses to get out of work/school/family commitments to help you get your fix of saltwater gravy. Especially handy when we’ve got unseasonably fun summer swell around…

Here are some tried and tested excuses that should do the trick*. Remember that once you’ve dropped any of these you need to remember that you have and stick to the alibi. The key is to get day off without losing a day’s pay. With all excuse making to go surfing make sure you max the suncream on face/hands as you don’t want the farmer tan giving the game away.

Rum Bum
The classic. Hard to disprove and no boss or teacher wants your vomit-stained, bum-squirty face anywhere near them. Diarrhoea is, a twat to spell, but the key to days off at the drop of a hat. Food poisoning is always easy, just remember the dish at fault. Barbecue season is of course a golden time for the good old ‘undercooked chicken’; it is an excuse classic. The other end of the bum spectrum is constipation. Equally good as excuses go. Get the hint across that you’re a ticking time bomb primed to messily go off and enjoy your day in the waves.

Got Bit
We’re kinda unlucky in comparison to the rest of the world when it comes to excuse worthy critters. There’s not a lot out there to make you spend a few days in bed ‘at home’ being ‘ill’. So there’s only one real contender: the Adder. Yup the one poisonous snake in the British Isles. A bite from one of these elusive buggers can lead to nausea, vomiting and dizziness and a day or so in hospital for observation. Just so you know. Or invent a decent, but not throat closing, allergy … Like horse fly bites or something.

Blame The Sea
Odds on your boss or teacher knows you surf. So use it to your advantage. Chat to them about the good work of SAS and all the nasties that live in the sea so you can take a few days for the inevitable ear/nose/throat/lung infection or gastroblaster that claim us all a few times a year. Not bad enough to the see the Doctor but believable enough to get you a few days brine time.

Playing Golf
Now this one is a bit more tricky. It needs you to have a client that surfs as well. So you can then ‘have a board meeting’ instead of murdering lots of small white balls. Best thing is you both get to surf and can still have a bit of a chinwag between sets. Hell maybe even do some work at the same time. Win/win.

Doctor’s Appointment
A trip to the Doctors or hospital for a ‘scan’ are always a good one. Everyone knows in today’s hard pressed NHS you can be there all day waiting to get seen. Keep your ailment vague, hint that it’s of a very personal nature, point to the downstairs department and make an awkward embarrassed face. This should see you out the door for a day for sure.

Work From Home
Now this one is a bit more tricky but workable if you can catch up on the work you need to do at some point. But the whole point of free surf days is not making more work for yourself. Also tricky if anyone is emailing or ringing you when you’re in the sea. Unless you really want to get a waterproof case for your phone. On that front stay off social media if you’re excusing yourself from work. Don’t blow it.

Car Issues
Only workable if you live in the middle of nowhere with no public transport and no friends with cars. Best bet to go for ‘breaking down’ on way to work. This gives you the leeway to be ‘dealing with it’ all day with the nice Mr RAC man. Be sure to know what went wrong, something fixable but common like your carburettor falling off or the turbo injectors turning to cheese. A good one, that loses you man points, but does work is the good old: ‘I put petrol in me diesel car’, or vice versa.

Jury Duty
If it’s cooking for a week you could try this. Might need to falsify some paperwork but it’s totally doable. Only issue is if you really do get called up for jury duty then you’re toast. Prob won’t work if you’re in the legal profession. Or have already done it for real. You’re not allowed to discuss the case so there’s no need to invent a complex back story.

The Pet
Dogs and cats get suddenly sick and need taking to the vet. Which can take all day. It’s just one of those things. Make sure you actually own a pet if you’re going to use this one. One easy way is to buy a realistic plastic tortoise and leave it in your garden. Just give it a kick to move it once a fortnight.

The ‘wife/girlfriend’ having a baby can be used to your advantage. It just takes some forward thinking to make sure the due date is at some point when the swell is pumping. Then you can use ‘close calls’ and ‘false alarm’ hospital runs to score a few days in the water before the waters really do break. Face it, once the kid drops you ain’t going surfing ever again anyway.

A wedding, preferably at the other end of the country, is a good way of wangling a day or two. No boss can get peeved with the sound of wedding bells. And it’s a real arse of a boss that docks you a few days for such happy times. It’s worth getting some stock wedding portraits done just for this excuse. If you know anyone good with Photoshop this might help; they can just slot your head on a pic from Mr Google.

Kids Ill
If you are lucky (or unlucky enough, depending on your point of view) to have kids they’re a motherlode of excuse gold. They need to go to the doctors frequently for inoculations and that. Then there are the days spent in A&E when they jam their head in a pan, railings or similar. They have mystery ailments all the time so use them to your advantage. Similarly it’s a stern boss that will get snippy about time off for your dear offspring. Like the pets one this kinda falls down if you don’t actually have children. It might involve some bribery on your children’s part if they ever actually meet the boss at a function. You best keep a list of all the afflictions they’ve had just in case. Best avoid, ‘Little Tommy lost his arm in the threshing machine on the farm’ or similar for this very reason. Also good for getting out early if the surf picks up unexpectedly. Just get a friend to ring pretending to be school and say your kid’s sick.

Always make sure everyone knows you are prone to migraines. It’s a get out of jail free card for a few days off each month. While the boss thinks you’re lying in a quiet, dark room you can be slotted in the green room.

This has a one time use. The story goes you got hit by lightning while out hiking and spent two days unconscious in a field. Far fetched but believable. Maybe use some make-up to make appropriate ‘in and out’ burn marks. Remember never to use this twice. Odds of ‘actually’ getting hit are low so you should be fine.

Alien Abduction
You need a real hippy, or perhaps drunk, for a boss to pull this one off. Obvs you can’t ring in advance for this but if you happen to miss a few days from work for the swell of the year you could try the ‘I was abducted by aliens’ routine. Make it convincing, work on your scenario with how the aliens looked, the interior of the their craft and just how worrisome the anal probe was. Kind of a last resort but worth a shot if you think you’re getting fired soon for being a useless surf bum anyhoose.

So there you go. Use with care. You’re welcome.

*If your boss surfs then you are completely and utterly stuffed. Unlucky buddy. Oh and don’t blame us when you get fired for using all of these back to back.