3 things you have to get over to learn how to surf

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This picture is the only proof I have that I’ve ever actually stood up on a surf board (in reality this could be anyone, pretty awful proof if I say so myself…). The picture was taken on my first trip, when I was still just surfing the white water (broken waves), now I’ve progressed on to the green waves (unbroken waves), which would look a hell of a lot cooler in a picture than this one does… Oh well, maybe on my third trip I will get a good picture

Surfing is an either-or sport. With that, I mean that you’ll either LOVE it or decide that it’s not for you. I really don’t think there is an in-between. It’s known as an extreme sport, which I guess is only applicable if we talk big wave surfing. But even dealing with smaller waves, there still is a few things to get past before you can embark on the life long journey that is living and loving surfing. I’ve made a list of three things you have to get over to learn how to surf:

1. Your fear of the ocean. Okay, so this one doesn’t count for everyone, but for me it did. When I was younger I loooved the ocean, and I loooved swimming. As I got older, I quit my swimming lessons and stopped going in the ocean as frequently as I previously had. Instead of spending four hours in the pool pretending to be a mermaid I joined the crowd that impatiently lay in the sun, waiting for their skin to reach the next level of tan.
Overall my connection with the water slowly disappeared, and I got to a place where going under water meant plugging my nose and diving in to the water head first never happened. I could no longer jump from a high point, and if I, god forbid, ever did end up on a 3 foot diving board, the only trick I could do was the bomb, so creative I know.
This didn’t mix well with being in the ocean, only joined by a surf board. There is no time to plug your nose when a wave, in the moment seemingly bigger than your house, is heading towards you, and you just have to accept the fact that any kind of creature could grab you leg as you’re sitting on your board, looking into the horizon, waiting for the perfect wave. The ocean is your new best friend and you need to accept that is has the power to do whatever it wants with you at any given time.

2. Sand everywhere. Everywhere. In your hair, in your suitcase, in your wallet, in your nails, in your drink, and worst of all, in your bed. There’s no avoiding it and you just have to deal with it. I came home and laid in bed with a book that I had been reading in Portugal, I opened it and of course, sand came out. So now there’s sand in my bed in Copenhagen too. I’ve learned to embrace it and now look at it as a constant free body scrub.

3. Getting beaten up. Smashed. Creamed (I’ve heard a few surfers use this expression, and I don’t get it. It brings my mind somewhere else..). Destroyed. Ruined. However you say it, the ocean is going to toss you around and beat you up as if you’re were a member of its rival gang. And you just have to accept it. You will get thrown off of your surf board, you will get salt water in your eyes (duh), you will swallow water, you will get bruises, break finger nails, stub your toes on rocks and you will get caught in the impact zone while wishing that the ocean would just leave you alone and let you breathe. It’s all a part of surfing.

If you can look past these three things, and decide to learn how to surf, then I promise you that you’re about to embark on the most magical journey of wave craziness. The ocean will awaken feelings inside of you that you didn’t even know you were capable of feeling and leave you with memories that will instantly bring you to cloud nine.

// Annika

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