Hanging 0.10 in the Pacific

8 08 2011

Maybe a year ago, maybe more, I started talking to my cousins Gerry and Chip, two avid surfers, about taking me out on the water and showing me how to surf.

Keep in mind, these guys can shred. They’ve been doing it for decades. And here comes their ever-so-fascinated-with-random-things younger cousin, me, asking them for a lesson.

That day came Sunday in Oxnard, Calif., on a cool cloudy morning.

I surfed. I got on a longboard, stood for maybe half a second, maybe more but who’s counting, felt a small wave underneath me and then lost my balance and fell backward off the board and into the ocean.


Chip (in photo at left with me) was a great teacher and he didn’t let me slack. I must have tried at least a dozen if not more times to catch a wave and each time I fell, he told me to swim back out and get back on the board.

When that was over we got in a sea kayak, and paddled into the waves. After two tries, we caught a good one and glided across it at an angle. I could feel the water just carrying us, with oars up. What a rush.

Two things that really stood out in this experience:

1. MAJOR respect for the ocean and its power. I wasn’t that far out in the water and yet the waves really took their toll on me. I drank in salt water, had to go under water when big waves approached  and was fatigued for the rest of the day and sore today.

2. When you finally get it, the feeling of being up on a board is pretty nice, even if fleeting. Will I do it again? Maybe. At least now I know some of what to expect, because I was pretty clueless going in.






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