I always enjoy the upbeat sound of the Beach Boys’ Surfin’ USA, but who knew how much fun it really is!

First, the wet suit really does keep one warm. This was crucial for me, as I am a coldwater superwimp. Second, when a wave actually takes you – WOW! That is a supercool sensation! My rides were fairly short, just a matter of seconds. The experience, though, is not dependent on the length of the ride. My teacher pushed me into a few waves, then I caught some – the tag end of them as they approached the shore, only inches tall. Still – when you get it just right – the zoom is incredible!

Balance is challenging. 🙂 I did, indeed, tip over many times, while riding a wave as well as simply sitting or laying on the board. There’s an art to positioning oneself just far enough forward but not too far back, and also with keeping your weight evenly divided between left and right. The slightest unsuspected shift was enough to send me toppling, and even the ones I knew were coming still often sent me flopping. And this is just to stay on the board while floating! Once you’re riding, a whole ‘nother set of dynamics kicks in. Most of my rides were angled sideways, as I tried not to flip over. 🙂

Steering was impossible. I mean – one obviously learns how with practice, but my focus was absorbed with the balance problem. Timing is also a key element. There’s only one sweet spot , and if you miss it, well, you spend a lot of time trying to get into the right position at the right moment or, getting the chance and then taking a tumble. I did both, plenty. 🙂

Only once did I try to stand up. My wet suit stuck to the board and I produced a wonderfully uncoordinated cartwheel or three. No injuries though, despite that blasted leash strapped around my ankle (tangling up my legs). Belly surfing was good enough for me – for the first lesson. I definitely want to surf again! The experience is beyond words, literally. You are in the water, the horizon is defined by the height of the waves. Just a one foot surf is enough to block the view! And plenty tall enough for a fun ride. The last one I rode in might have been nearly two feet tall it gave me my longest ride. The transition is so quick, from laboring to stay afloat to hurtling along as if weightless: an incredible juxtaposition of bouyancy and effort. (The whole wave action involves potential energy – physics! – which I also find quite exciting.)

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