Thursday, April 10, 2008

Surfin', not Smurfin'

My first time jumping to lie (lay?) on the surfboard and paddle out to catch waves, I couldn't believe how seemingly unstable it was. Rocking back and forth, feeling like I was going to tip over at any moment. And making it out to the area to sit and wait for waves, I had to sit up on the board, straddling it. Again, amazing how unstable it was.

Thing is, the secret was to relax. You relax, you become sort of one with the board. You don't struggle, it doesn't struggle back.

And then, the wave approaches in the distance. And you flop down the board and begin to paddle. The wave catches you and lifts you up, and up you jump onto the board and ride it. Sound easy, but it isn't. Landing correctly, getting your balance, these are so difficult. The first time, I got up on my knees. Kinda neat, but a 'bad habit to get into.' After many many many tries, I caught one and rode it and it was amazing. Kind of difficult to really grasp what was happening, but it felt so secure. And a slow plop into the water when the wave disappeared.

After 2 hours or so in the water, I was BEAT. Mush. Thankfully I had only taken a 2.5 hour class.

The next day I thought I had learned enough to try it on my own. Thing is, there's secrets you have to learn. Where to sit and wait. Exactly WHEN to stand on the board. And how to deal with wind and currents. I went later in the morning, and the ocean beat me back. I tried so hard to get out to a place where I could sit and wait for a wave, and the ocean beat me with wave after wave after wave. When I finally caught my breath and could look around, I had only gotten about 15 feet away from shore, but 25-35 feet away from where I started.

I was pooped. I so wanted to give up, but instead I got out of the water, walked along the beach to the entry spot, and tried again. Again got beat but made it out to a place far enough away to maybe catch a wave. I kept missing them. The one I caught slammed me so hard, I waved the white flag of defeat and went in. I wish I could sue for assault and battery.


Susan said...

I've always wanted to try surfing but I have this Jaws fear. Damn those movies!

WNG said...

Wow! Ok on the one hand you got your ass kicked a little, but on the other wasn't it completely worth it?!?!?

NoRegrets said...

Hmm... Susan I think there are places you wouldn't have to worry about jaws too much. Go visit Eslocura!

Oh, it was way worth it. But I want to do more!

Tara said...

Seinfeld once referred to waves as bouncers at a bar. The ocean is an exclusive bar and the waves are just pushing us back saying "I don't think so!"

That sounds like such an interesting class! Good for you for keeping at it!

Churlita said...

I tried to surf when I was 20 and lived in California. I never got to the relaxed part. Sigh.

evil-e said...

The ocean does not want us in keeps tossing us out.

That is one thing I will never post about. I am afraid of water, so no surfing for me. Congratulations on trying and somewhat figuring it out. You are a better man than I. (not a man, but as the saying goes)

heather said...

damn! you are the adventurous type aren't you? good for you!

NoRegrets said...

It certainly was an adventure. And I should have stuck with it more. Maybe next time. I'm not used to the ocean, so evile, I understand your pain to a certain extent.