Learning to Surf

Last week while I was at work I got an email from my husband that contained quite a surprise. Ray bought me a surfboard! SurfboardAt Ray’s work they have a classified email service that people can use if they have items they would like to sell. It is sort of like a mini Craigslist. A great looking 8ft foamie surfboard popped up on the email service and Ray jumped on it.  For the last few months I have been wanting to give surfing a try and Ray thought the 8ft foamie surfboad would be a great board for me to learn on because it would be pretty stable in the water.

This past Sunday Ray and I headed to La Jolla Shores with some friends to hang out and surf. The surfing conditions were pretty good (for me at least) because it was sunny, the water wasn’t too cold, and the waves were on the smaller size. 

I will admit I was pretty nervous about going surfing for the first time. I am a little intimidated by the ocean and I am not the strongest swimmer.  However, most of our friends in San Diego surf and love it and it is something I have always wanted to learn. On Sunday, I spent more time in the water than I did on the surfboard (which I was told by my friends is normal). I definitely got hit in the head a few times with the board (thankfully it is made of foam) and drank about a gallon of salt water.  I believe in total I stood on the board for one second.

Since I was still figuring out how to balance and paddle on the board and didn’t have a great sense of position, Ray helped manuever me into the wave and then would give me a little shove to help me catch it.  We must have done this about a dozen or so times and usually the end result was me sliding off the board and landing in the water. Every time I fell Ray would give me an encouraging smile and a few pointers and feedback, which I appreciated because it was pretty frustrating at times. I believe my biggest problem was that when I would try to transition from lying to standing on the surfboard I was not pushing myself up with equal force. The extra force I applied to one side would cause one side of the board to tilt into the water, which would then cause me to tumble into the white wash. I also think I was a little afraid and too timid, which caused me to over think things and be super cautious when I needed to just go for it.  Next time I go surfing I am going to focus on learning how to properly balance and how to shift my weight to control the surfboard instead of putting so much pressure on myself to try and pop up. Baby steps!

I think it is important to try new activities and not be afraid to put yourself out there. Surfing on Sunday was a very humbling experience. I am in good shape and pretty coordinated so I thought  I would at least be able to consistently stand up on the board. However, nothing about surfing came easy to me and most of the time I felt like an idiot flailing around in the ocean.  However, when you are trying something new you have to start somewhere and you have to be persistent.  Even though I struggled on Sunday, I was proud of myself for trying something outside my comfort zone. I will keep you posted on my surfing progress.  Maybe with lots and lots of practice I will eventually be able to look as good as Ray on a surfboard 😉IMG_6244

 When was the last you tried something new that was outside of your comfort zone?

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