Man! Life has a way of getting busy, and these last few weeks… months… this wholeÂ year?? has been one hell of a ride. From whirlwind travel to burning the midnight oil, meeting deadlines and the everyday hustle of freelancing, I’m not really even sure where 2014 starts and stops.
I know whenever there’s a little extra time in my schedule I love updating this blog, but on a recent midweek afternoon, I found another way to fill my time. I bought my first surf board! For those of you who have been following along with me over the last year, you know I fulfilled a major resolution by attending surf camp at Witch’s Rock in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. The idea was, it would be the first step in embracing my new hobby.
On a chilly, overcast Wednesday morning a couple of weeks ago, I took my dog Rascal for a walk down by the beach and lo and behold, there were waves, real, actual waves. Waves that I could picture myself riding.
Now, this wasn’t the first time this phenomenon has occurred in my backyard since I’ve returned from Tamarindo, but it’s a rare occasion nonetheless. It finally dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be able to ride them until I had a board of my own–you know, like what Virginia Woolf said about women writing and a room of one’s own.
I’d taken a couple of mini surf jaunts to Long Beach, Long Island and Venice Beach in LA where I rented boards and/or instructors, and I was frustrated to be downgraded back to soft tops when I’d so proudly made the leap to epoxy. I was starting to understand why surfers take their boards so seriously.
So on this drizzly, cold front of a day in Miami, I texted my surf touchstone of a friend Brad Wells of ThankYouSurfing.com who gave me just the nudge I needed, “Go buy one now! Never a better time.”
And so I did.
I headed down to F1RST Surf Supply Co. at South Pointe, which happens to be where South Beach’s best break is–when it’s breaking–and the owner Mark Gamez (along with live texts to Brad) helped me pick out my very first board. They advised me towards a 7’2″ Matt Kechele fun shape (you know, a long board and performance boardÂ in betweener). I was a little nervous since it’s more than a foot shorter than anything I’d been on before and considerably lighter, i.e., I can actually carry it to the beach without my arm falling off, but they assured me that I could handle it and I’d grow into it–and obviously be ripping in no time!
Since the waves were still curling into the afternoon with a nice and rare offshore breeze, I waxed her up (still consulting with Brad via text about just how much wax was enough wax. “More is always better,” I learned), and headed out to the beach behind my house. I was the only one out there–it was really cold, after all–save for one lone standup paddle boarder off in the distance.
The excitement of gliding into the surf on my very own board was second to none, and the sheer act of paddling was invigorating. When I managed to stand up and actually ride a wave on that first afternoon that surfer’s perma-smile was plastered on my face for the rest of the day.
Dudes, admittedly, I still have a lot to learn out there, but it’s fun as hell and I’m totally, tubularly stoked to have my very own board to practice on and to improve. See you out there! I’ll try really hard not to drop in on your wave and then get into an epic surf brawl Ă la Keanu vs. Anthony Kiedis in Point Break.