Published in the Fall 2005 issue • Sporting Goods
Catching a Wave
Continued from page 1
“You ever surfed before?” asked Belfort as he opened the door to my room at his cozy bed and breakfast the night I arrived.
“No,” I answered, setting my backpack down on the bed with relief. “Never.”
“Well, that’s good. This way, you’ll learn the right way. You won’t have bad habits to undo first.”
“Right,” I said somewhat doubtfully. “Actually, I’m not really an athlete, so I don’t know how successful I’m going to be.”
“Do you do anything like wakeboarding?” asked my host.
“No,” I shook my head.
He laughed warmly and crossed his tan, muscular arms across his tan, muscular chest. I laughed, too, wondering for the millionth time if surf school was not, perhaps, a colossal mistake that would ultimately lead to my death from a combination of pure embarrassment and incompetence, if not from actual physical mishap.
“Well,” he said, smiling broadly, “maybe you’re going to find it easier than you think.”
To my surprise, he was right. Getting the hang of the basics wasn’t that hard. Watching myself at the school’s nightly video session was mildly painful, but each day my performance improved. On the fifth day I was deemed ready to go to “the outside,” meaning catch up to the wave from behind it, stand up as it’s breaking and ride down the face of it like a real surfer. Needless to say, I was terrified.
But, as if by magic, I did it. I could hardly believe it, and the feeling was just what I had imagined: exciting, scary and exhilarating. Once I’d made it that far, I knew a week wasn’t nearly enough. I understood how surfing could become an addiction. Though I had chewed a significant amount of sand in the process, it had been a small price to pay to fulfill what seemed like an impossible dream. I know I’ll go back.
Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learnin’ how!
- Easy Drop Surf Camp: One- and two-week sessions on the beaches of Itacaré, Brazil.
- Surf Sister: Canada’s only all-women surf school in Tofino, British Columbia.
- Sinaloa Surf School: Surf lessons on secluded beaches near Mazatlan, Mexico.
- Adventures Within Surfing Safaris: Head down under and surf the beaches of New Zealand’s North Island.
- Gower Surfing Development: Yes, you can surf in Wales! Offers women-only surf clinics in summer.