Hanging Ten

The time had finally come, the day we have been anxiously awaiting this whole trip – our first surf day!

Kurt rolled up at 11:00am to take us down to the beach for our surf lesson. Both of us were really amped to get going, and Kurt was right there with us. He said it’s all about having fun and all about attitude. When we got out at the beach he laid his two word surfing definition on us “fun and frustrating.” But the goal of the day was nothing more than to have fun, and if we had fun we had succeeded.

We learned a few surfing 101 tips and practiced our pop-up stance. Pawel and I had watched videos the night before and knew exactly how it should look. After only two tries Kurt was ready to get us in the water. Pow’s board was Kurt’s high school graduation gift, and written across the bottom in honour of his football nickname – The Polack – it reads “Polish Power”. Kurt was excited to give it to him to ride after bonding over their Polish blood the night before. My board was a 9 foot long board, freshly waxed and perfect for learning on.

When we got out on the water Kurt reminded us to have fun, and to act cocky. Every wave was ours if we wanted it and you never fall you only exit the board. So with that in mind, Pawel paddled off into his first wave with a bit of a push from Kurt. Like a pro he popped up exactly when Kurt said and exited the board after a few seconds. Next was my turn, and now I had a big act to follow, we weren’t expected to stand on the first try. With a quick push and a quick pop I was up and riding the wave. To everyone’s amazement I rode the wave a solid 100 feet to the shore and exited into the shallow waters. When I got back, I had a huge grin across my face and got the approving “Gnarly man!” from Kurt. After two waves Pow was a pro, riding bigger and faster waves every time. My high point was the beginning of the morning, I consistently hit waves, but the pop-up became more lazy as I grew tired.

This surfing thing is hard work. Paddling, paddling and more paddling, combined with a burpee like pop-up motion is exhausting. You never really feel how tired you are, your performance just decreases, until you can’t lift yourself or paddle anymore. After about two and a bit hours we both caught our last waves in. Kurt on the other hand, without a board, dove head first for the shore and rode a wave the entire way in – that was pretty amazing to see. The day was extremely successful, Kurt was super pleased, we were super pleased and everyone had fun.

After we ate lunch and watched the videos of our wipe outs and rides, we crashed hard for a couple hours. Waking up was tough, our muscles were stiff already and the bruises and bumps were beginning to show. It is evident how demanding of a workout surfing really is. Three weeks of this and we’ll be ripped, or at least very bruised and sore!

Not sure how we will feel tomorrow, but we’re banking on a beach day. We need to learn to watch the waves so that the next time we get out, with out Kurt’s expert eye, we know what waves to ride and which to pass by. If WordPress had one of those Facebook “How I’m feeling” buttons I think we’d both say – feeling excellent bro!

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