21 Hobbies for Men to Try in 2021

You need hobbies.

Consider the phrase, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. In other words—spend all of your waking time punching the clock, and you run the risk of becoming a walking, talking snoozefest with no personality.

Hobbies make you interesting. They force you to be present and help you cope with stress. Hobbies spill over and improve other areas of your life and help you form new connections with people.

If you’re in a rut or just looking for something new to try, we put together 21 hobbies for men that are worth giving a shot in 2021. And while there’s a nearly infinite number of hobbies out there, these are 21 that Beardbranders are actively doing.

Check out the list, followed by advice from Beardbranders on how to get started.

21 HOBBIES FOR MEN TO TRY IN 2021

  • Archery
  • Birdwatching
  • Club Sports
  • Creative Writing
  • Cycling
  • Disc Golf
  • DJing
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Fishkeeping
  • Gaming
  • Gardening
  • Grilling
  • HAM Radio
  • Knitting
  • Musical Instruments
  • Paramotoring
  • Rowing
  • Surfing
  • Vehicle Modding
  • Vinyl
  • Weightlifting

ARCHERY

Hobby: Archery
Hobbyist: CJ, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
I love the outdoors. I always hunted but was burning out on firearm season, even handgun. A friend got me started on archery. One quiver, and I was hooked. I’ve loved it ever since.

The most challenging part about getting started
It is an acquired skill. Each person is different, but I started with an MQ-32 Solo-Cam and never looked back. It is an expensive hobby to get into. Even more so now than when I got into it years ago.

I am fortunate that I set up my own range on my property and shot every day I could. Every spring, I need to shoot to bring my shoulder in and get the instinct.

Then there’s learning distance, and not from a range finder. Go on a walkabout and pick a target, choose your pin, and shoot. Vanes have changed since I started; the IBO (bow speed) is faster; the tools are better. Still, you’re going to lose more than a few arrows.

How this hobby improves my life
Discipline. You have to get it right if you're going to hunt. I range out to 60yds, then shoot it every evening that there is no snow on the ground or high wind.

It has allowed me to utilize my senses more. I was hunting archery before I lost my hearing. Now I must depend on other factors to compensate. The same applies to the loss of vision in my right eye. Although greatly diminished, I still shoot right-eyed.

The peace, solitude, and respect for the perfect shot when hunting has helped me after the damage that was done to my body.

How I make time for this hobby
Make time for what serves you best. How do you find that place that gives you inner peace? There’s the acceptance of your skill and the satisfaction of doing it right. In doing so, you will find that it gives so much more insight into the world surrounding you. And always support those around you that show an interest.

Advice for getting started
Go slow. Don’t spend so much string time that you damage your shoulder. Just like powerlifting, an injury will cost you so much more than the discipline to know your limit. Always push for more, master your art form, but respect your physical well-being while doing so.

BIRDWATCHING

Hobby: Birdwatching
Hobbyist: Shawn, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
This is something that was passed on to me by my parents. I can recall being very young and building nesting boxes for Eastern Bluebirds with my Dad. This species was endangered in Pennsylvania due to the loss of suitable nesting locations related to the reduction in open farmland. This is where my love of the hobby is rooted. It started as something that I shared with my parents, and I have since shared it with my wife and children.

The most challenging part about getting started
You need only have a love of wild creatures and a desire to learn. As with other hobbies, you can decide to spend money on expensive tools such as binoculars, spotting scopes, or cameras. However, you can get just as much enjoyment from the hobby, even without investing large sums of money. I have a feeding station in my backyard. I rely on the internet and a couple of inexpensive field guide books about wild birds to identify new species that I am lucky enough to see.

How this hobby improves my life
I find that I am most relaxed when I am watching birds. I love to watch how they interact with each other, to learn which birds prefer which food source, and get to know frequent visitors to our backyard. It reduces my stress after a long work week.

How I make time for this hobby
Since I can take part in this hobby from the comfort of my home, this is easy to do. I will watch the feeders while I’m drinking my morning coffee. The winter months make it more challenging as the daylight diminishes. The spring and summer months provide me with many hours of birdwatching opportunities.

Advice for getting started
Keep it simple. Buy a feeder or two and some seed. Download a bird identifier app on your smartphone, sit back, relax, and watch. You will likely be amazed at the variety of species you can find, even in an urban environment.

CLUB SPORTS

Hobby: Club sports (Carlos talks about Soccer, but this applies to any sport)
Hobbyist: Carlos Costa, Beardbrand Content Creator

How I got started
I started playing and watching soccer (football) as a kid. Everyone in my family was a football fanatic. I initially started playing volleyball with my uncle until he took me to a football stadium. The atmosphere was so alive and electric. I never looked back and started playing football straight away.

I kept playing as a younger guy, and in Portugal, I played for various teams up to a semi-pro level. Until recently, I have kept football in my life and played in a Sunday league for fun and fitness.

The most challenging part about getting started
I have been fortunate to get on well with it from the beginning. When I was a kid, you would play it at school for sport, and then friends would get together after school and play. We would always play together on local grounds for hours and hours.

The biggest challenge I faced was getting into the local teams I wanted to play for. I overcame it by pushing myself to increase my fitness and skills to make the team. The biggest obstacle I did not overcome was making it pro.

How this hobby improves my life
Playing football keeps me fit, and it’s how I socialize and make new friends. Wherever I go, I always manage to find a local kick-about team to meet up with and join.

How I make time for this hobby
I play evenings during the week and then in a Sunday league. It becomes a ritual. I join the same team every week, but sometimes I have friends from the football team call and ask me to play with other local kick-about teams during the week.

Advice for getting started
I’ve never been to a country that doesn't have a place to play. Look for local places to play, find teams, and play! It doesn't have to be serious. You can join smaller teams or, if you are really passionate about it, you can join a more serious league. Google in your local area and find the teams and what you need to do to join.

CREATIVE WRITING

Hobby: Creative Writing (Mike talks about songwriting, but this applies to other forms of creative writing too)
Hobbyist:
Mike Lawson, Beardbrand Copywriter

How I got started
Both my parents were music teachers, and I grew up singing and playing instruments. I started writing poetry and songs when I was 12 or 13, and it’s something that I have done pretty consistently since then. It feels less like a hobby and more like a thing I just do, like eating and sleeping.

The most challenging part about getting started
You have to write a lot of terrible songs before you write any that are halfway decent. In most cases, you have to suck at it for a long time before it starts to pay off. That turns a lot of people away. I think that’s true for any form of writing, whether it’s songwriting, poetry, fiction, etc.

It took years before I started to find a sound and voice that felt original and authentic. And most of the time, songwriting is just downright hard. Every now and then, magic happens, and you write a song in under an hour, but then sometimes you go months without writing anything that you think is any good.

With any form of creative writing, you have to grind it out and try and write even when you’re not feeling it.

Then, with songwriting, there’s the music and performing aspect, which is a whole other challenge in itself.

How this hobby improves my life
I’ve been doing it for a long time and feel like I’m just starting to get good at it. I’ve started to see some payoff from the years of practicing, which is incredibly rewarding. I’ve been able to work with and be the opening act for some of my heroes. It's created incredible experiences for me while also keeping me hungry to keep getting better.

With any type of creative work, you have to have a strong resolve. When you’re first getting started, getting people to take notice or care about what you’re creating is tough—really tough. You also have to deal with your inner critic. You have to push through it, and it teaches you a great deal about discipline and how to get out of your own way.

How I make time for this hobby
For me, songwriting is less of a hobby and more of a thing that I just do. That said, with any type of creative writing, you have to be disciplined about setting aside time every day to work on it. You can’t just sit around and wait for inspiration—it doesn’t work like that.

I’m pretty regimented with making time for songwriting, practicing, and rehearsing. I generally set aside two hours a day after work. Even on days where nothing is coming to me, or I’m feeling “uninspired,” I still try to work on something.

Advice for getting started
You don’t technically need to know how to sing or play an instrument to write songs, but it definitely helps. Get a guitar or piano and make a commitment to learning whichever one you choose.

Study song structures by artists you like. Keep showing up and trying to write more songs, even when you feel discouraged.

If you’re going to sing your own songs, invest in some voice lessons with a good teacher. That said, you don’t have to have an amazing voice. It’s important to sing in tune, but you don’t need an “American Idol” type of voice. A voice that is unique, authentic, and memorable can go a long way. You’re going to hate how your voice sounds on tape anyway—everyone hates the way their own voice sounds.

You don’t have to be selling out stadium tours to be a successful songwriter. Start small and try to write the best songs you can. Set small incremental goals and go from there.

This all applies to other types of creative writing too. You don’t need anything more than a pen and paper to get started. Write every day, and don’t worry about why you’re writing. Focus on all the tiny details around you and just write. Everything else will start to fall into place.

CYCLING

Hobby: Cycling
Hobbyist: Mike Lawson, Beardbrand Copywriter

How I got started
I’ve lifted weights consistently for the past decade, but I hate running. Because of that, I have never focussed much on my cardiovascular fitness.

Cycling is something that I’ve wanted to get into for a while. I held off for years because I knew that I would go down a rabbit hole of buying an expensive bike and accessories.

When my gym closed down at the beginning of the pandemic, I finally pulled the trigger on getting a bike.

The most challenging part about getting started
Cost is probably the most significant barrier of entry for road cycling. A decent bike costs between $1000 and $2000, and a good bike can cost exponentially more. Then there are other add-ons like clipless pedals, cycling shoes, and cycling kits. While these accessories aren’t necessary, they definitely improve the overall quality of the riding experience.

How this hobby improves my life
Aside from the cardiovascular benefits, cycling gets me outdoors more and gives me dedicated time to not look at my phone or computer. There’s also the challenge of pushing myself to ride longer and farther and climb larger hills. It feels good when you finish a challenging ride.

How I make time for this hobby
45 to 90 minutes is all it takes to cover many miles and get a quality ride in. I typically get in a couple of shorter rides during the week and try to do at least one long ride on the weekends. It’s easier in the summer when you have more daylight to work with.

Advice for getting started
Bike fit is critical. If your bike is a poor fit, you won’t want to spend any time on it, no matter how much you like riding. Your local bike shop can help you find the right size. Don't rush this step.

If you’re new to cycling, you don’t need to go all-in on an expensive carbon fiber bike. You can find relatively lightweight aluminum bikes that are great for getting started.

The mechanics of riding a bike are the same as when you were a kid. But cycling is a different beast than riding your old Huffy around the neighborhood, especially when you start hitting 40 MPH on downhills.

Chances are you'll take a few spills when starting out, and an aluminum frame will better handle your learning curve than a fragile carbon fiber one. Upgrade to a better bike once you feel really comfortable with all the maneuvers.

DISC GOLF

Hobby: Disc Golf
Hobbyist: Andrew, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
A friend mentioned, “we should try it” in conversation.

The most challenging part about getting started
Like anything in life that requires fine mechanical detail and repetition, disc golf is a game that anyone can do. Still, it requires time to work to get to the “next level.”

How this hobby improves my life
The exercise is great, setting and achieving goals and personal bests are motivating and rewarding, and the disc golfing community are some of the nicest people you will ever meet!

How I make time for this hobby
Schedule it for a consistent day and time in the week and let it be a priority for that day and time.

Advice for getting started
Just do it! Find a local shop or buy a starter pack online. Find a local course and just start talking to the locals. You won’t be disappointed!

DJing

Hobby: DJing
Hobbyist: Ben Wilson, Beardbrand Content Creator

How I got started
I got started with this hobby during the lockdown. My roommate brought his DJ equipment with him when he moved in, so I decided to learn then. It’s something I’ve always thought I would be decent at. I have a pretty good ear for music, and I would always low-key judge the DJ’s transition skills, how he read the crowd and kept the vibe going. In my head, I would always try to figure out which song would best fit next.

The most challenging part about getting started
Taking the step from thinking this would be cool to do to actually doing it. It took me over 10 years to get started.

The other thing was learning new songs and genres. I had my little playlists and liked songs saved, but to DJ, you have to know way more than that. I’m always searching for new songs or artists on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Youtube. As I’m writing this, I just added 4 new songs to my collection.

My music background was helpful (piano, guitar, and drums), so finding the rhythm and natural flow of the music was natural to me.

How this hobby improves my life
It helps me relax, focus, and be present. It’s fun to DJ at parties and see people enjoying themselves.

How I make time for this hobby
I’ll usually practice maybe 30 minutes during the week and an hour or two on the weekends. You can put as much or as little time into it as you want. At this time, it is purely a hobby. I’ve only DJ’d a few times at private parties. Maybe I’ll take it a step further in the future.

Advice for getting started
Do whatever it takes to get started. Buy some equipment or rent some studio time. Take action.

DRAWING AND PAINTING

Hobby: Drawing and Painting
Hobbyist: Greg Berzinsky, Beardbrand Content Creator

How I got started
I've been an artist all of my life. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, maybe since I was 4 years old. I had thought about going to University for Fine Art but was directed by a high school guidance counselor to minor in art and Major in Architecture.

The most challenging part about getting started
Making time is the biggest challenge. My mom used to say that God would take my talent away if I didn't use it. I don’t believe that, but I do believe that not doing it can dull the skills and, in fact, make it less enjoyable.

How this hobby improves my life
When I find the time, I never stop being amazed that I can draw. But then again, I am all about the visual—telling stories with art.

How I make time for this hobby
Hmm, currently I don't make as much time for this as I’d like. Making content for Beardbrand takes a lot of my time.

Advice for getting started
You don't need tools or fancy equipment. Pick up a pencil or sharpie and draw a person in 60 seconds. Then do it again, but give yourself five minutes, and so on. It doesn't have to be perfect. It should just be an expression of what you see and feel. Technique comes with practice.

FISHKEEPING

Hobby: Fishkeeping
Hobbyist: Mike, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
I’ve always wanted a really nice fish tank, and I’ve always liked the calmness I got from watching them. I started by watching a bunch of YouTube videos and got inspired to finally begin.

The most challenging part about getting started
Cost is certainly a factor; fish/aquarium keeping is probably one of the most expensive hobbies. For me, another challenge is space. I live in a medium-sized Manhattan apartment with not a ton of room for a big 125-gallon aquarium. So, I had to set expectations to start with a small 3-5 gallon.

How this hobby improves my life
For me, it’s fun. It’s part science project, part artistry, part pet ownership. Watching fish is really calming. I can spend time testing the water chemistry and doing water changes. In terms of artistry, building aquascapes is kind of fun—leveraging real plants, rocks, and trying to create a realistic environment.

How I make time for this hobby
I do weekly water changes, so I actually set time during the week to dedicate to my aquarium.

Advice for getting started
Research, research, research. Take time to understand what your new pet fish requirements are. There is so much information on this hobby, especially on YouTube. You don’t want to buy a small fish and then find out you need a 100-gallon aquarium when it outgrows your 20-gallon tank after a few months.

GAMING

Hobby: Gaming
Hobbyist: James Wilson, Beardbrand Growth Manager

How I got started
My brother helped me build a PC right after I graduated from college, and I wanted to put it to the test by running some games. I found out that I really enjoyed gaming.

The most challenging part about getting started
Getting a video game console or PC costs money. Games can get expensive. Multiplayer online games can be pretty challenging and frustrating if you’re not good at them.

How this hobby improves my life
I have a really hard time relaxing and get really restless watching TV. Video games allow me to relax by giving me down-time to “do nothing” while still keeping my mind and hands active. They’re almost like a form of meditation for me.

I like to travel and adventure in real life. Modern video games scratch that same itch by creating interesting worlds to explore, which has been especially helpful in 2020.

How I make time for this hobby
I try to limit my playtime to evenings and weekends. I make sure that I have done all of the things I need to get done before playing video games, as they can be a big distraction if you don’t limit your playing time.

Advice for getting started
I would recommend that gaming is not your only hobby. Video games can be great fun and a good way to blow off steam, but it's not particularly healthy to sit and stare at a screen all day. They can also be a bit addicting and pull you away from other priorities if you are not careful.

My advice is to balance out your health, productivity, and work priorities first and then supplement with some video games when you need to blow off some steam.

GARDENING

Hobby: Gardening
Hobbyist: Robert, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
I spent my summers as a kid working on a farm. My folks would later begin growing vegetables in a large garden and pots on their patio and deck. I learned a lot by working their gardens. As an adult, I moved onto hydroponics since I live in an apartment with limited outdoor space.

The most challenging part about getting started
It definitely takes some time and practice to successfully grow a lot of plants. There are costs in the form of “hardware” (tools, gear, pots, materials for standing beds, etc., which are one-time or occasional). Then there are recurring costs for “software” (soil, minerals, PH tests, etc.).

How this hobby improves my life
I eat a plant-based diet, so growing my own greens and other vegetables saves me time and money. It’s also satisfying to nurture something from seed to table.

How I make time for this hobby
A basic hydroponic can be built in a weekend, and maintenance takes only about an hour each week. It’s easy to make the time when you get to eat fresh tomatoes off the plant.

Advice for getting started
Don’t worry so much about the plants that die; it happens to all of us. Plan your garden based on your space, not the space you wish you had. There are plenty of plants that will thrive in whatever conditions you can provide (partial shade, full shade, full sun, cold weather, warm weather, wet, or dry).

GRILLING

Hobby: Grilling
Hobbyist: James Wilson, Beardbrand Growth Manager

How I got started
I worked as a cook at a couple of restaurants in high-school and college. This has made me comfortable cooking my entire adult life, and it’s always been a bit of a passive hobby. I’ve always cooked in the kitchen, but it’s been my dream for years to be able to do backyard smoking.

I finally moved into a house this past year. Right after I moved in, I bought an inexpensive kettle grill, and then a few months later, I bought a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.

I watched a lot of YouTube videos to get started.

The most challenging part about getting started
Space and cost are the two biggest challenges with getting started.

Getting a charcoal fire can create a lot of smoke. You need a backyard or enough space to not disturb your neighbors.

You can get started with a relatively inexpensive smoker, but you’ll want to invest some money to get one that can hold the temperature for a long time. The cost of charcoal, wood, accessories, meat also can add up quickly.

There are many components to master—getting the smoker to the right temperature, holding the temperature, seasoning the meat, tending to the meat, knowing when to pull the meat, for example.

Additionally, getting good at smoking takes a really long time. For example, it can take 4–6 hours to smoke a rack of ribs. I only have time and money for that once a week, maximum. This means you have about one chance per week to improve, which is really slow.

Lastly, I don’t like wasting meat or charcoal, but it happens to you when you get started.

How this hobby improves my life
It is really satisfying to take some time out and build a fire for cooking. I’m just hardwired to enjoy that sort of primitive task.

It keeps your mind active. There’s a lot of minor adjustments and optimization to be done before and while you are cooking (getting your temperature right, making sure the meat is moist but not too moist, doing a recap of what went right and wrong at the end, etc.).

There’s a lot of gear to think about and save up for, which I think is fun.

You can have a relaxing day at the house while you’re technically still “doing something.” Plus, it’s fun to cook for friends, and it can also be fun to wait around together and anticipate the cook being done.

Best of all, you get tasty food to eat at the end.

How I make time for this hobby
I usually carve out time on Sunday for smoking meats. It’s great during football season since you can watch games and get up and tend to your cook. I build a fire and grill sometimes twice a week in the evening. I have to eat, and this is my favorite way to do it.

Advice for getting started
Grab a Weber Kettle grill to get started if you’ve never cooked anything on charcoal. It’s really versatile, great quality, and isn’t a massive investment. If you enjoy that, look into upgrading to dedicated smokers or different types of grills.

HAM RADIO

Hobby: HAM Radio
Hobbyist: Chris, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
My Dad was a long-haul truck driver, so I remember talking to him from an old CB base station when he got in range on his way home. I was a kid before cell phones were common, and I thought it was the coolest thing to do. It has just continued to keep my curiosity/interest all this time later.

The most challenging part about getting started
The cost of equipment is definitely a difficulty in getting started. It's such a rarity that people take it up as a hobby, and used equipment is getting increasingly hard to find. License requirements are another little hurdle to start, but some bands are available to use without licenses.

How this hobby improves my life
It’s kind of relaxing to just listen in now and then and when band conditions are right. It’s a lot of fun to talk with people in different countries using 80-year-old technology. It’s also great peace of mind knowing I have the ability to communicate and get updates when all other means are unavailable.

How I make time for this hobby
That's the harder part of it. I hop on here and there for an hour or two when I get the chance, but I also run a radio in my work service truck, so I also get a chance to talk on slow days—just not as far with the mobile radio.

Advice for getting started
Go for it. It has more benefits and fun than you’d think. The licenses are cheap and not hard to get, and if you’re concerned whether you’ll like it or not, CB radios can be had fairly cheap, and that's a good place to dip your toes in to give it a shot.

KNITTING

Hobby: Knitting
Hobbyist: Edwin, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
Watching my sister crochet brought an interest in needlework in general. I came to learn by watching YouTube videos.

The most challenging part about getting started
In part, I feel that learning to knit is almost like learning a language, albeit an easy one. There are also some YouTube videos that are excellent in teaching, while others that do not communicate well.

The beginning can feel awkward, but once one gains an understanding, it becomes almost second nature. As for costs, while there are very pricey yarns, one can begin with acrylic and needles at a large arts and crafts store that usually gives out coupons weekly.

How this hobby improves my life
Aside from the effect of having made something, the simple rhythmic motions of knitting have been therapeutic.

How I make time for this hobby
I’ve associated knitting with watching videos, so unless something requires a certain level of complexity, I can knit away. I have also knitted while in the subway (and chances are that I am listening to heavy metal while doing it).

Advice for getting started
Knitting has an interesting history in terms of what knitted items were made for and who made them. While the hobby has become known as a female-oriented thing, there are many men who knit who have all sorts of personalities and talents.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Hobby: Musical Instruments
Hobbyist: Sylvester Louis Castillo, Beardbrand Community Manager

How I got started
I was born into a family of singers and musicians, so I grew up around live music as a child. My Dad threw me on a drum set when I was three years old, not knowing if the skill would stick. Years later, I found myself playing in recording studios and live music venues somewhere between Denver, CO, and Nashville, TN.

The most challenging part about getting started
It came to me as a natural gift, but that gift still needed to be worked on. One of the biggest challenges I faced early on was learning how to read sheet music. Since I learned to pick up music by ear, it was valuable to invest in reading lessons. You might not always find yourself in a position where you need to read music, but it teaches you various levels of music discipline and dynamics.

How this hobby improves my life
Playing music is a creative outlet for me. It allows me to think critically and be expressive in a totally different way. There is also a team aspect to the process that I find valuable. Whether you're playing in a big band or small trio, the musicians have to work together to create harmoniously.

How I make time for this hobby
Free time is the best time for me to play music these days. Once in a while, I'll get together with some local friends on the weekend to create music.

Advice for getting started
Start small and see if music comes naturally to you. One good way to gauge that is by listening to your favorite song and trying to pick out specific instruments or melodies in the song.

I'd also recommend connecting with a local music teacher for lessons. A good teacher will help steer you in the right direction, especially if you're not sure which instrument to play or if you're struggling with where to begin.

One final piece of advice— work on your skillset and have fun. The magic happens when you've practiced your instrument and come together with other musicians to create music.

PARAMOTORING

Hobby: Paramotoring
Hobbyist: Michael, Beardbrand Alliance Member

How I got started
I watched a year of Tucker Gott YouTube videos and saw him gliding above the trees and decided that I wanted to do that.

The most challenging part about getting started
The first challenge was finding two consecutive weeks off from work to attend training.

Once in training, there was the physical challenge of running with a 70-pound motor on my back and acquiring the skill of controlling a paramotor wing to inflation so that it becomes an airfoil.

The last and greatest challenge was convincing my mind that I could run and lift off the ground as my own aircraft.

I overcame all of these challenges by attending a highly rated paramotor school (Aviator PPG) in Central Florida. The trainers were knowledgeable, compassionate, and patient. They walked all of us students through the phases of skill until we could fly on our own.

How this hobby improves my life
Through flight, I was initiated into a group of outstanding men and women I would not have met otherwise. This sport has taught me to move forward despite fear, and the peace of floating above the earth with complete freedom is a thrill that I have never experienced before. I fly when I need an “altitude” adjustment, and I always land happy and smiling.

How I make time for this hobby
I schedule flights with my buddies about every other week to keep up my skills and to experience new terrains and landing zones.

Advice for getting started
The most important piece of advice is going through thorough, hands-on, structured training. Paramotoring is a safe sport but not intuitive. Proper training teaches you flight controls, appropriate weather conditions, and the ability to land safely. This sport will change your life. I have experienced that for sure.

ROWING

Hobby: Rowing
Hobbyist: Eric Bandholz, Beardbrand Founder

How I got started
My older sister rowed in college, and I remember going to her regattas when I was younger. I thought it was pretty cool. At USC (Gamecocks), a new club was formed, and I figured I’d join. Once I got in the boat, I was hooked.

The most challenging part about getting started
Rowing is a very challenging sport. It requires about 85% of your body’s muscles and the ability to time your stroke with the rest of the team in perfect alignment. If you get off, you’ll get punched in the back with another rower’s oar handle, and it hurts like mad.

Wherever there is water, there is usually a rowing program you can join for modest monthly fees.

How this hobby improves my life
Rowing helps me build bonds with other guys in the community, compete, and keep my body in peak fitness.

How I make time for this hobby
The water is the best early in the morning, so I’ll row before the sun comes up. It does get challenging because I’ll need to head to be relatively early to wake up with energy.

Advice for getting started
Every gym has a rowing machine, and you can hop on there to see how you like the motion and exercise. Obviously, there is so much more; but if you don’t like the motion, it doesn’t get any better on the water. If you do like it, find your local club and look for a “learn to row” program to help you learn the techniques.

SURFING

Hobby: Surfing
Hobbyist: Mike Lawson, Beardbrand Copywriter

How I got started
I spent a month in Haleiwa, on the north shore of Oahu, HI, in 2010, and took a couple of lessons. I got really into it. I was living on Long Island in New York at the time, and when I got back from Hawaii, I bought a surfboard and a wetsuit.

The most challenging part about getting started
If you didn’t grow up on a surfboard, picking it up later in life is hard. You’re definitely never too old to learn, but it takes a lot of time on the water and face planting into waves to make progress. You have to learn how to study the ocean and the waves so you can be in the right place to catch a wave, then there’s the actual balance component once you get to your feet.

It’s generally harder to learn if you’re living on the east coast of the U.S. Many people assume you can't surf on the Atlantic, and that isn't true at all. You just don’t get as many days per year with good surfing conditions compared to California or Hawaii.

How this hobby improves my life
Yes, there’s the calm and zen-like peace that comes with being on the water, but mostly, it’s just fun.

How I make time for this hobby
I haven’t surfed since moving to Austin, TX, but I surfed any chance I could get when I lived in New York and Virginia Beach. You really never know when the conditions are going to be good, so you end up continually watching forecasts and dropping everything when the conditions are good.

Some days, I would get up at 4:00 AM, be in the water around 5:00 AM, surf for a couple of hours, and then be at work by 8:00 AM.

Advice for getting started
It helps to live near the ocean, but it’s not completely necessary. You can always take a trip, and I think more surf parks will start popping up in landlocked states in the near future.

Start with a longboard. The longer and wider a board is, the more stable it is, making it easier to paddle and catch waves. Take some lessons if you can. And definitely familiarize yourself with surfing etiquette because the last thing you want to do is cut-off other surfers. Not all surfers are "zen-like," and they'll definitely let you know when you're in the wrong.

VEHICLE MODDING

Hobby: Vehicle Modding
Hobbyist: Thomas, Beardbrand Alliance member

How I got started
Browsing and joining enthusiast forums and YouTube videos.

The most challenging part about getting started
On occasion, parts can be hard to find due to their being custom or limited stock. Cost also plays a factor, especially with a mortgage, two kids in daycare, and so on. Save money and take your time!

How this hobby improves my life
It makes me happy to see my vehicles stand out from the rest. Some mods are functional, and some are for looks. The comradery is also awesome as it’s a big hobby. I love seeing my hard work on these mods payoff, both functionally and visually. It brings a smile to my face during these challenging times.

How I make time for this hobby
I don’t have much time, but I usually work on mods during the kid’s nap time. Sometimes, my wife gives me some time to get big jobs done during the weekends.

Advice for getting started
Save your money and take your time. Research is huge. Do not rush!

VINYL

Hobby: Vinyl
Hobbyist: Mike Lawson, Beardbrand Copywriter

How I got started
A few of my friends had record players and were beginning to buy vinyl. It didn’t take too long for me to get my own record player and start building a record collection. Vinyl is back in a big way, and it’s exciting to be a part of that movement.

The most challenging part about getting started
There are many things to consider with record players and turntables, especially when you start digging into overall sound quality. It can get overwhelming very quickly when you’re first learning how every aspect of your setup impacts the sound.

Entry-level record players can be had for as little as $40 or $50. I bought an Audio Technica LP60 for around $100 to get started. But now I want to upgrade.

How this hobby improves my life
I listen to a ton of music, and putting on a record creates more of a personal connection to it than streaming it. I love the process of pulling a record off the shelf, taking it out of the sleeve, and dropping the needle on it.

Buying vinyl has really broadened my knowledge of music history. And there’s the shot of dopamine that comes with digging through a crate of used records and coming across one that you love. I searched for close to a year trying to find an early pressing of Willie Nelson’s 1973 record, Shotgun Willie. I nearly did a backflip when I found it.

Lastly, supporting artists is personally important to me. Buying vinyl is a great way to do that.

How I make time for this hobby
It’s mostly just built into my lifestyle. Before COVID, I would stop by my favorite local record store once a week to look through the new arrivals bins.

Advice for getting started
Set a budget and get the best record player you can find within that budget. Don’t worry too much if you can only afford an entry-level one. Start building your record collection. You can always upgrade your record player, speakers, and everything else later.

WEIGHTLIFTING

Hobby: Weightlifting
Hobbyist: Ben Weaver, Beardbrand Video Editor

How I got started
I learned my way around a weight room in school while training for basketball. When I got to college, I found the campus’s excellent student gym. I watched videos on Youtube of different routines and started trying things out.

The most challenging part about getting started
The ego is the biggest hurdle because you compare yourself to everyone else you see in the gym. It’s tough going into a gym not knowing what you’re doing. You think people will laugh at you and say you look dumb. What you learn over time is that no one is watching you, and the only people getting laughed at are the guys who grunt and scream obnoxiously.

Being able to lift a small amount of weight isn’t something to be embarrassed about. As someone who has lifted weights for years, I see everyone in the gym—in shape, out of shape, ripped, doughy, whatever—as part of the team because they showed up.

How this hobby improves my life
Staying physically active helps in every area of your life. One unexpected example—I work out in the morning, and afterward, I’m more awake for work. It has helped my flexibility, posture, appetite, and mental well-being.

How I make time for this hobby
Lifting is me-time. I do it first thing in the morning; otherwise, I’ll be too tired at the end of the day. Making it part of my daily routine has made it non-negotiable.

Advice for getting started
Learn what will make you keep doing it. If you need someone to lift with, find a solid, consistent partner. If you can go alone, do that.

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