The First Surf Of Summer
Surfing has always been something that I’ve wanted to master. Since grade six, I was fixed on riding the waves like all the cool southern California surfer boys were. I grew up on Roxy catalogs with glossy photos of tan, fresh faced, dripping models emerging out of the crystal clear ocean with neon mini surfboards. Part of me wanted that lifestyle.
The problem with surfing was that no one could teach me. I didn’t even start driving until eighteen, and didn’t start making money, let alone enough to rent a surfboard, until like last year. I had tons of guy friends that surfed, but none that I was close enough to give my life to, in their hands, at the unpredictable risk of the open ocean. So I waited.
It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I went to Hawaii with Andrew, that I first decided to just randomly rent a surfboard and go out into the water myself. I don’t exactly know that compelled me to do this, since I wasn’t experienced with surfing at all, and I’m a horrible ocean swimmer. I try to avoid it at all costs. Deep, open water scares me incredibly. But I did it.
I paddled out into the waves with the safety belt of Andrew at the shore, not only being my guide of the ocean- but my only cheerleader. Attempting the baby waves at the shore, I did not know what I was doing. I wiped out on baby waves a million times, but did manage to get up once.
In that moment though, I fell in love.
Suddenly I wasn’t the girl that cared about “getting her hair wet” or making excuses. I wasn’t the girl to lounge in the sun, but the girl to jump into the waves. I wasn’t scared anymore. I had conquered my fear of the ocean. I wanted to be drenched in sun and pounded with saltwater, pushed under the deep, crisp sea and tossed around. I opened my eyes and watched my underwater surroundings spin around me, as If I was in a giant, magical wheel of wet clothes in a dryer.
So this week, I decided why not attempt surfing again with none other than a fellow surfing noob, Jeanine. She had never tried it before, and I figured If I still sucked, she would suck too, and we could suck together and laugh and take cute photos of us after we tried.
We went with two of my guy friends, one of them, Max, who had actually surfed before. He immediately jumped into the ocean with no board, and swam way out to where the professional surfers were. Now if you’re from California, or an area where theres a lot of surfers, you know what I’m talking about. The far area. I’m so glad Max was there though, because If he wasn’t so undoubtedly fearless, I wouldn’t have been as well.
We went out to a spot where the waves were massive, to me at least. Ive seen some surfers do 50 foot swells, but I’m not there yet- and I doubt I’ll ever be. These waves were around 10 feet, which was scary enough. Jeanine and I rode, *eghem* attempted to ride almost every wave that the other surfers went for, and all in all we actually caught about two each. It was freezing though, so we didn’t stay out in the water for more than forty minutes. If it was a hot day, I probably could have been out there for hours.
Oh yeah, I wiped out pretty bad. It turns out (duh) that the bigger waves you go for, the bigger the wipeouts get! I ended up wiping out on a wave and thrown under the ocean. At first It wasn’t bad, like any other wipeout, you tumble under the ocean for a little bit until it settles down and you scramble to grab your board while trying to not think about the slew of ocean life stalking your little body underneath you. This time though, I did not have a moment to recover my board, because before I knew it, my face was sliding hard and fast against the bottom of the ocean while my legs followed in the water. Instantly my face felt like fire, and I approached the open air with the feeling that my whole face was bleeding in tiny little sand tears. I paddled back in to shore with the knowledge that my face had essentially been rug burn. Luckily, only my chin and a few random parts of my legs, arms and feet were bleeding. After blotting the burns, I figured applying saltwater to the area of infection is usually what you do to heal a wound- so I got back in.
Surfing was so much fun. I learned to stop worrying about what lies underneath the ocean when I can’t see it. I learned to go for bigger waves and have bigger thrills. Im certain I’ll be meeting the ocean a lot more this summer, and maybe by the end I’ll even have my own board. Look out Roxy catalogs.
Forever 21 Bathing Suit Top and Bottom