Learning to Surf

Encinitas Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 20 › view all entries
I took a surf lesson today. It's true that I've lived in Southern California my entire life, and I have spent many hours floundering around in the ocean on a surfboard, attempting to stand up, but usually just ending up getting hit in the head with the surfboard....or face-planting into the sand in the shallow areas. I attribute this to several factors, the most important of those being my lack of knowledge about what it is that I should even be ATTEMPTING to do in order to have proper form, and also the fact that I only ever tried on the short-boards I had inherited, which are quite difficult to learn on.

This summer, I decided that I was going to get serious about learning how to surf. It is shameful for me to live in North San Diego County, one of the world's premiere surf spots, and not know how to do it. Soooo...I bought myself a beginner's surfboard. It's long...it's padded with foam, and it's altogether big and ugly, but I find that it is much easier to float on, which is a step in the right direction.

I took the big ugly board out a few times, seeing if I could surf with my new and improved ability to float. While I did find things easier, I found that I still didn't know what the hell I was doing, so I decided to shell out $150.00 on a 2 hour private surf lesson.

I booked my lesson with the Meneheune Surf School, which has locations in several areas of San Diego County. I met my instructor at Swami's Beach in Encinitas. I was quite nervous, considering that waves have always somewhat intimidated me. It's not the waves themselves that scare me, but rather their ability to toss a surfboard directly into my head, which has happened on several occasions.

I did it, though. He was quite nice, and very knowledgeable about all things surf-related. He took me out in the water and made sure I was doing everything with proper form. He instructed me on how, and when to paddle, and shoved me out into the waves...ready or not, as they came my way.

I was awkward. I was wobbly, and I was most likely a hilarious spectacle for all the tourists sitting on the beach, especially when I finally did manage to stand up on the board, which caused me to squeal in delight, right before I fell off into the water in a spectacular manner.

It was a lot of fun, and I am left completely exhausted. Tomorrow I imagine that I will have some pretty sore muscles, but I am stoked because now I know what it is that I was doing wrong all those other times I've tried, and I can now go out and practice, confident that I will actually improve with each time I go out....but it will be a long time before I am not an embarrassment to myself, and a great show for the tourists on the beach.
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