I wonder how people jump off cliffs with their surfboards to get to great breaks. You know what I mean. It’s in almost every surf film. Surfer courageously takes the drop and then joins with their surfboard on their way to their next great adventure together. I really wonder if bravery is something one gets from surfing, or if one is inherently brave to begin surfing.
Are we brave as surfers or just brave surfers?
I constantly hate myself and my surfing because I am anxious, cautious and timid, and my surfing suffers from this. I talk myself out of waves all the time and I have unfortunately been victim of too many panic attacks out in the water to admit to. But people that don’t surf look at what I do and tell me they could never do that. There’s a four-foot wave about to break in front of me. I try my hardest to duck dive and try to get through. A wall of ugly grey water surges up behind me. I’m in the wrong spot (as usual) and I am about to be chucked over the falls. I either pull back (if I can) or I just relax into the tumble of the “hold-down”. Other people wouldn’t even step into the water.
So I suppose that is all I have to think about the next time my anxiety gets the better of me. Just by entering the water, I am already brave. I got this.
The sea scares me but I love it too much to stay away
My interest is piqued as I get out of my car and hear the calming buzz of the ocean. I look out at the blue water and my toes tingle with excitement. Smooth lines, but not too big that I … Continue reading →
I woke up feeling anxious. So, of course, when I got to the beach in the evening and saw that it was 4-5 foot onshore close outs (AGAIN), my anxiety erupted. It felt like I was being stabbed in the … Continue reading →
I’m bleary-eyed but I get out in the water and the cold water electrifies my body into working and my board catches the first few without my brain fully working. I’m usually alone, just enjoying the cold spray and the sun coming over the headland. Most often, it’s raining and onshore. Always, I have a great time.
Everything is so much clearer behind that curtain of water vapour. You can take a split second to re-evaluate your motives and how you’ve reacted to some things in your life. Just for a moment, you’re weightless. You’re inside a hollow where there is air and life, before it’s closed off with tears that blind you.
You can see that it’s a close-out. Most of the time, you’ll try and steer left or right to avoid the dumping. You can’t see that behind that waterfall, there is a kind of peace in the sound…where serenity and clarity can be found.
Gymnasts are not the only athletes that can nail the perfect cartwheel. Surfers can too. I proved it today. I went over the falls a little bit too often and did some magnificent double (sometimes triple) cartwheels that resembled those of a dancing starfish down the face of the wave and I even continued the dance under the water in a spiral of H20.
I poo-poo those gymnasts and their cartwheels. What fun are cartwheels when you don’t inhale six gallons of salt water up your nose so it gushes out your eye balls? (!) Yes, poo-poo. Surfing cartwheels are where it’s at(!).
I love my home break. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside! I know that I’m going to get absolutely pounded by that beach break but I love it anyway because it is challenging, yes, but it’s also a hell of a ride when you get it right.
The people are so friendly. I had a couple stand on the beach last night to just watch me frolic like an uncoordinated dolphin. They even shared my elation as I took off on a green wave and even managed a bottom turn. ‘Yessss!’ I cried. They cheered and clapped. It was minor embarrassing but I felt supported anyway.
After that, I rode a wave right into shore, right into the paws of an overly-excited little Schnauzer. He ran into the water to greet me in his language and covered me with kisses as I jumped off the board. He was THAT happy for me.
As the sun set, I shared my spot with a friendly man who was the exact same skill level as I. It was great to be able to share waves with a guy, knowing that one of us could bomb out…or both of us. It was a lot of fun.
The water was also beautifully clear. I could see a forlorn scuba mask resting upon a rock beneath us. I love it when it’s that glassy. You look down and you can see your shadow reflecting back at you from the sandy bottom.
I’m ecstatic that my surfing is progressing with my Surf 3x a Week goal I have over my mid-semester break. I love feeling the control I have riding down the line (previously it was pure accidental wobbling). Sure, I’m going for waves (a lot of the time) that are way past my skill level and bombing out hilariously (hold-downs are less scary when you learn to relax) but I’m learning. I’m learning which waves to pick, and which waves I have to paddle like crazy to beat past the line-up in either direction. You know those monster bombs that you see coming and you think ‘Uh-Oh’ and you paddle like a lunatic to either the beach (so you can catch it once it’s already broken) or risking your neck by trying to beat it (It’s like paddling up a brick wall!)? It’s all good. I don’t quit until I’ve got salt burn and the sun’s disappeared off the horizon. It’s bliss!
Or just really love the ocean and passion for marine conservation.
I decided to book a plane ticket to Sydney so I could go to An Afternoon by the Sea with Tim Winton. I’ll be spending the day there and I’ll try the New South Wales water for a day. I woke up this morning thinking did I really just book a flight on a whim? Yes I did. Tim Winton has inspired me to be the best author I can possibly be, all while standing for everything the ocean is. I cannot wait to listen to his motivational speech and volunteer for some marine conservational work.
The water rushes to me, greeting me. You’ve been away far too long it whispers. There’s not much time left so I embrace it back, closing my eyes at its fresh familiarity. The sand washes away and the water chases … Continue reading →
Wouldn’t it be nice to sit around a bonfire on the beach, wearing ponchos and sipping on acai tea while discussing the art of surfing?
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning, roll over and see waves standing up and crashing down?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in walking distance to a decent surf break? Grab your board and meander down.
Trying to drink your coffee quickly so you can get into the good stuff but you keep burning your throat? It would be worth it.
Not putting enough wax on your board because you’re so pumped to get into the water? I’ve done it. It’s also worth it.
Your heart beats so fast it feels like it’s going to evacuate your chest. And that’s just as you’re jogging to the beach with your board. Wait ’til you get in the water and paddle out. It’s like being born again.