Sink or Surf?

Authored by:
Phoebe S.

Phoebe S.

Surf: to stand or lie on a surfboard and ride on a wave towards the shore. At least, that's what the Oxford English dictionary says surfing is. Me, on the other hand? I'd say surfing is a magical way of flying without wings. When you're riding the waves, you almost lose sight of where you end and the sea begins. 

Today, I had the pleasure of trying surfing for the very first time, and let me tell you, it's going to be very hard to go back to being surfless in Seattle! Now, I've wanted to try and learn to surf for as long as I can remember, so when the opportunity arose, I decided to commit full-send and give it my all. Did this "just do it" attitude end in happily ever after, or was I shipwrecked? Well, kinda both to be honest...This morning, all of the international students at Burnside met at the beach for a brief lesson on ocean safety. Quick tip for all y'all: DON'T SWIM OUTSIDE THE RED AND YELLOW FLAGS. Seriously. Just don't do it. 0/10, would NOT recommend. 

Anyways, now that that's all taken care of, on to the fun stuff: aka the ocean! First, we had some surf lifesaving drills that explained things like how to run properly in the water, what to do when caught in a rip, and how to perform a basic rescue. Then, we learned how to boogie board properly and had a great time riding waves all the way in to the pearly white sand. Turns out, no matter the country, I somehow manage to inhale sand at least once every time! 

And then finally, it was time for the moment that we'd all been waiting for. Before the word "surfboard" was fully out of our instructor's mouth, we were already dashing off to grab a board and head to the water. After a quick demonstration of how to stand up and a warning to be careful, we were released to conquer the waves and try not to die along the way. Adrenaline pumping, I jumped on my board and paddled out towards the horizon.  Luck (or the surf gods) must have been by my side today, because there was a perfect wave rolling right along towards me. I mean a Perfect wave! Just before it was upon me, I started to paddle like there's no tomorrow and my body took over and I wound up standing on the surfboard in no time! Somehow, I managed to ride the wave all the way in to shore without toppling off into the surf. Those few seconds of magic were all it took before I was hooked. I didn't stop chasing waves for a long time after that, not even after getting dumped and covered in sand WAY a few too many times for comfort!

It's been hours (and many failed attempts) since the first ride, but nothing else today has brought such a huge smile to my face as catching my very first wave, not even a smooth scoop of coffee ice cream with brownie swirls. That fact alone made me realize that surfing is something special, especially considering how ice cream never fails to put a smile on my face!  Today, I found a new passion. Here's to hoping I improve with time!

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