The dark side of flow: a qualitative study of dependence in big wave surfing

Sarah Partington, Elizabeth Partington, Steve Olivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Flow has been described within sport psychology as an optimal state underpinning peak performance. However, the consequences of experiencing flow may not always be beneficial. One negative consequence might be that of contributing to dependence on the activity that interacts with, or is associated with, the flow experience. This study explored the dichotomous consequences of flow, using case studies of big wave surfers. Fifteen elite surfers completed in-depth, semistructured interviews. It seems clear from the results that the surfers experienced positive consequences of flow. However, they also exhibited symptoms of dependence on surfing. It is suggested that there may be an association between the experience of dimensions of flow and the compulsion to engage in an activity. Some specific recommendations for further research into the relationship between flow and exercise dependence are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-185
Number of pages16
JournalThe Sport Psychologist
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Interviews
Research
Sports Psychology

Cite this

Partington, Sarah ; Partington, Elizabeth ; Olivier, Steve. / The dark side of flow : a qualitative study of dependence in big wave surfing. In: The Sport Psychologist. 2009 ; Vol. 23, No. 2. pp. 170-185.
@article{683a6058ae614d9bbd173e6c5d8917e2,
title = "The dark side of flow: a qualitative study of dependence in big wave surfing",
abstract = "Flow has been described within sport psychology as an optimal state underpinning peak performance. However, the consequences of experiencing flow may not always be beneficial. One negative consequence might be that of contributing to dependence on the activity that interacts with, or is associated with, the flow experience. This study explored the dichotomous consequences of flow, using case studies of big wave surfers. Fifteen elite surfers completed in-depth, semistructured interviews. It seems clear from the results that the surfers experienced positive consequences of flow. However, they also exhibited symptoms of dependence on surfing. It is suggested that there may be an association between the experience of dimensions of flow and the compulsion to engage in an activity. Some specific recommendations for further research into the relationship between flow and exercise dependence are made.",
author = "Sarah Partington and Elizabeth Partington and Steve Olivier",
year = "2009",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1123/tsp.23.2.170",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "170--185",
journal = "The Sport Psychologist",
issn = "0888-4781",
publisher = "Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.",
number = "2",

}

The dark side of flow : a qualitative study of dependence in big wave surfing. / Partington, Sarah; Partington, Elizabeth; Olivier, Steve.

In: The Sport Psychologist, Vol. 23, No. 2, 01.06.2009, p. 170-185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The dark side of flow

T2 - a qualitative study of dependence in big wave surfing

AU - Partington, Sarah

AU - Partington, Elizabeth

AU - Olivier, Steve

PY - 2009/6/1

Y1 - 2009/6/1

N2 - Flow has been described within sport psychology as an optimal state underpinning peak performance. However, the consequences of experiencing flow may not always be beneficial. One negative consequence might be that of contributing to dependence on the activity that interacts with, or is associated with, the flow experience. This study explored the dichotomous consequences of flow, using case studies of big wave surfers. Fifteen elite surfers completed in-depth, semistructured interviews. It seems clear from the results that the surfers experienced positive consequences of flow. However, they also exhibited symptoms of dependence on surfing. It is suggested that there may be an association between the experience of dimensions of flow and the compulsion to engage in an activity. Some specific recommendations for further research into the relationship between flow and exercise dependence are made.

AB - Flow has been described within sport psychology as an optimal state underpinning peak performance. However, the consequences of experiencing flow may not always be beneficial. One negative consequence might be that of contributing to dependence on the activity that interacts with, or is associated with, the flow experience. This study explored the dichotomous consequences of flow, using case studies of big wave surfers. Fifteen elite surfers completed in-depth, semistructured interviews. It seems clear from the results that the surfers experienced positive consequences of flow. However, they also exhibited symptoms of dependence on surfing. It is suggested that there may be an association between the experience of dimensions of flow and the compulsion to engage in an activity. Some specific recommendations for further research into the relationship between flow and exercise dependence are made.

U2 - 10.1123/tsp.23.2.170

DO - 10.1123/tsp.23.2.170

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 170

EP - 185

JO - The Sport Psychologist

JF - The Sport Psychologist

SN - 0888-4781

IS - 2

ER -