We had a rather uneventful flight from Singapore to Bali,
cruising in over the crashing waves and gently touching down near our final
destination of Kuta. A 15 minute, prepaid ($5) taxi ride later and we were
huffing it down Poppies Gang 1, backpacking/surf bum central. We found an okay
room in a nice setting with a beautiful pool and all not 300 meters from the
beach. After dropping the bags, we hit the beach. The waves were pounding as
promised and I started to get a bit apprehensive about trying this whole
surfing thing. With a bit of prodding from Ji, though, I got a board for about
an hour from a beachside hawker named Georgio and waded in the water. It was a
hunk of a thing, 10 feet long at least; a proper long board. First wave: not
much. Second wave: kneeling, then stopped. Third try: Stood up! Stopped.
Fourth-10th, more of the same. Finally I timed it right, stood up, and surfed!
Yeah, maybe for only about four seconds, but it was some progress. Another 45
minutes of getting up for 5-6 seconds at a time and I was grinning from ear to
ear. And sore. Very, very sore.
Two hours later and my back was killing me. My chest hurt every time I took a
breath from jumping on the board. My legs hurt, my neck hurt, everything hurt.
The next day Ji and I were up early to go at it again. This time she got a body
board and we spent a few minutes trying it out. She picked it up quickly and as
I went further out on the surfboard she rode the waves as well. We broke for
lunch and came back a bit later. I switched to a shorter board, about 7’6 and
we both headed out again. I was again having issues with timing or something,
and kept stalling out as soon as I got up. I got a few good runs in and was
content. Ji tried the surfboard as well and stood up 3-4 times. Good fun, but
it was time to move on. On to Ubud!