Surf was up this weekend, so Andrew and I tried to learn how to surf. My last experience at this was back in 1991 the day before Hurricane Andrew hit Florida. Conditions were better today, but we both found surfing more than we could master in a day.
The waves look small from the boardwalk. As your feet get wet they begin looking bigger. As you paddle out and bob over the first two footer you realize that four foot wave you saw earlier is bigger than you thought. Finally when you’re on your belly paddling toward a roaring, foam capped, five foot wall of water rushing toward you, it begins to feel like the ocean doesn’t want you to pass. It looked so easy from shore.
By far the hardest part was trying to get these big blue foam boards over the final break of waves. With a smaller, fiberglass board you can push them under the big breaking waves and keep your forward position. The purpose of these big foam boards was to keep 165 pound bodies like mine afloat on top them; no going under. And there is really no going over a five foot breaking wave either without getting pushed back to the point where you began the ascent.
So neither of us got past the point where the big waves were breaking such that we could catch them on the way back in. Instead we caught the smaller waves as they reformed closer to the beach and practiced standing up on the boards from there.
We were both exhausted before our two hour rental period was over.
And we’ll be out there again next chance we get!