almost up

May 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

My pics will be limited this week since I couldn’t really leave my camera on the beach but just finished my 2nd lesson today. Since fri got postponed because of wind & waves my husband got to join me which was a lot of fun. I went back out with my instructor, Kim (pictured left). It was much easier paddling out today but the waves closed out pretty quick so still no standing for me…yet.

I’m not going lie that I obviously wanted to be able to stand up this week, but to be honest it was just a lot of fun being out in the ocean and seeing what it feels like to catch a wave. I didn’t really care by the end that I didn’t fully get up. It was a gorgeous Sunday. It felt good to be  in the water and exhausted in that fun kind of way. Kim was a great instructor and I recommend her if you’re in town.

This week I was thinking a lot about surfing as a sport vs surfing as a culture. Lately I’ve wanted to find something to do that gets me outside but that doesn’t feel like I’m just exercising to exercise. I really just can’t get into that. I played tennis growing up as a kid and there was a time I loved it because it was about beautiful south carolina evenings, hanging out with the neighborhood friends and maybe even having a 14 year old summer romance…or two. It was when tennis just became about competition that I lost my heart for it. I was actually much better at it when I was just having fun vs worrying about perfecting it too much.

I think about how many cool people I’ve met in Boulder through some of the weeks I’ve done so far and this week is leaving me with one regret from when I lived in LA. I wish I had gotten to know a fun group of people to hang out with on the weekends and go surfing with. It was a missed opportunity for sure, especially living 2 blocks off the beach at the time.

Surfing is not the kind of thing you’re going to pick up in 2 days, but so fun to try out regardless. I wish I had another week here to keep at it. I could totally see falling in love with it.

surfing’s a lot of hard work

April 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

I have a feeling my arms will be pretty sore tomorrow from my first surfing lesson today.

When you watch from the beach it always looks like surfing is a pretty peaceful & chill activity, but it’s a lot of work to paddle out. It takes an enormous amount of upper body strength that I wasn’t expecting.

After an hour & 1/2 my arms were shaking and I just couldn’t paddle anymore much less hardly lift the surfboard to make it back to the car. Although I still didn’t stand up yet, I did make it into what I’ll call the “proposal position”, down on one knee riding a couple of waves in. I was pretty happy with that given I haven’t even been in the ocean itself for a few years.

I thought I’d hate the cold, but I really didn’t notice after a minute & it felt so good once you paddled out to sit and just roll with it. We even saw a few dolphins. I think I was just too tired and maybe a little scared to pop up today, but I’m going to go for it again tomorrow. It’s pretty hard right now but I can totally see loving it once you get the hang of it.

I did get pummeled a couple of times by some larger waves but Kim, the instructor, was good about explaining what to do so I was fine. My poor friend Amy did end up doing some somersaults underwater and got a little shellshocked by it. Those were only about 3 ft. waves, so it really put into perspective how crazy it is when people start getting on 10ft. + waves. I can’t fathom how bad it would hurt to get hit by one of those.

I hope my arms will be functioning tomorrow for lesson #2… So far it’s been a blast. It may make me regret moving from the beach to the mountains…

I would take more pictures but I didn’t want to leave anything valuable on the beach…lest anyone think I was just posing with a board. 🙂

learning how to surf

April 25, 2011 § 6 Comments

Before moving to Boulder I lived about 2 blocks off the beach south of LA and never even got in the water. We’d take walks in the morning before work and kids would always be out there for surf class for school. I always thought it looked like a lot of fun. We even had “surf day” at work every Summer and I still never took advantage of the lessons, even though I kinda wanted to.

I grew up swimming, was a lifeguard at the local pool and coached swim team in the summers, but I’ve never been a fan of swimming in the ocean. I have a horribly overactive imagination and I think Jaws has had a lasting impact on me. I had a similar fear of camping after watching the Blair Witch Project. (Have not been camping since.)  In the same way people continue to buy lottery tickets thinking they’re going to strike it rich, I have a similar irrational way of thinking that I will be the one who is some kind of magical shark bait. I hope I did not just jinx myself by writing that.

Superstitions and irrational fears aside, I have 2 lessons scheduled on thurs & fri when I’ll be in Santa Monica. Until then I’ll be looking for inspiration from some of the great surfing films.

I think this will be another week like when I learned to ski; I really have no idea whether I’ll end up liking it or not. Guess there’s just one way to find out.

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