I’m half dead when I walk with an oversized board in one arm and my wetsuit in the other, through the dunes on my way to my first surfing lesson. My arms are too short, the wind is blowing the board to the right. But nothing can ruin my day today I’m going surfing again.
We start with a brief theoretical training. On our boards we practice the technique to push yourself into cobra position. Then we are ready to feel the Atlantic sea. I still recall how shocked I was seeing the fins under the board when my board flipped over a few years in Bali. Yet today I’m confident going into the water. We turn our boards, paddle forward and grab the first waves in cobra pose.
Just 15 minutes after we went into the water we get to know the techniques of standing. I now remember what it was like, a few years ago. We are allowed to try this alone and enter the cold North Atlantic sea again. As long as you remain in the water your wetsuit keeps you nice and warm, I was amazed. But getting into the breezy water after drying up, time after time, seems to be a challenge in addition to surfing, the fear of sharks, etc. “What am I doing” I think.
Immediately after the first attempt I put my right foot in front of the board and I stand up. The adrenaline. I seem to be a goofy foot rider. The left foot in front is for normal people. And yes, for me, of course, everything must be different. So I wear the leash of the board at my left ankle, because your front foot should be free of anything. But I do carry my board left instead of right (feels unnatural, because I’m right handed). And yes I keep on falling over the rope, frequently. But I’m stubborn. “Then I just step over it, right?”
After 2 hours of surfing I’m broken. I cannot wait until tomorrow, but have muscles ache, I rub some sand out of my hair and my ankle hurts because I have suffered of a wound of the leash. At home I have wondered how to survive six cconsecutively days of surfing, if you are me. At home I mostly sit behind my computer. But I’m addicted to surfing. The adrenaline you feel after each wave and stand on your board (or standing anyways) creates persistence, even if you are in any attempt to just whale yourself on the board, because you just can’t no more. Your body says no, your mind says “more”! With my surfboard on my right hip I walk into the sea, my profound fear of fish and great white man-eating sharks, I forget. With every wave that I catch, I want to get more, deeper and higher. Those moments, then you really know you’ve found a passion, surfing.