March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
My fourth and final surfing lesson with Michelle Davy from Stoked School of Surf got off to a rocky start, but ended on a really high note as the proverbial lightbulb switched on and I finally ‘got it’.
The beginning of the lesson, reunited with two girls from the first class on the right.
The lesson began with Michelle instructing us on how to paddle out to beyond the breaking waves rather than walking out as we had been doing. Then we were to sit and wait for the right wave, and when we saw it we were to turn around and lie on the board and begin paddling before catching it. Sounds simple enough right? WELL….
Together with the two other girls who I had been with on my first lesson with, we headed out into the icy depths, mumbling sweet swear words under our breath as the chilly arctic waters first froze our toes and then worked their way up. By the time we were deep enough to jump on board and paddle out we were all frozen silent.
And I’m off! Paddle, paddle paddle…..
Paddling is a lot easier than walking against the current out to sea to catch a wave, but it’ still one helluva workout. Especially when you have to keep fighting your way through the inconsiderate waves that thwart any kind of fast-forward paddling. But we did it, and all three of us arrived on the other side of the breaking waves smiling and happy. I don’t know about the other two but I was also a little nervous, I mean we were sitting waiting for a wave with the big guys… guys who actually could call themselves surfers and get the quiet but understanding nod that comes with being recognised as knowing what you’re doing.
But that thought didn’t last long as we all spotted a wave beginning to built and with Michelle’s instructions ringing in our ears we all turned, lay on the boards and paddled like mad.
The next few seconds are a bit of a haze however. I vaguely remember the monster wave silently coming from behind and realised only once I could see that there was about a metre between my board and the sea that perhaps this was a bit of a big wave to begin with and ambition in some respects isn’t always such a grand idea.
VERY soon after that I swallowed a good few litres of sea water as I tumbled and rolled around under the breaking wave and came up gasping for air just in time to see my surfboard go flying over my head. Which is no mean feat and I’m still not sure how that even happened. Then again sea water does make you go mad so there’s also that possibility.
Fortunately I was not the only one who had wiped out so magnificently as I looked across and saw the other two girls sporting the same bewildered WTF-just-happened expressions I knew I was wearing. It was only once we had hauled our bruised egos and boards back to shallower waters and heard Michelle lamenting the fact that she didn’t get a picture that we realised how ridiculous we must have looked! Ironically enough though, it was still fun. I mean it’s water, so while you might get a bit surprised sometimes, it’s not like you’re crashing into concrete!
The rest of the lesson went well after that and I managed to stay upright on the board for a lot longer than before, moving backwards and forwards to speed up or slow down and even turned a few times. Like i said, something just ‘clicked’ and all of a sudden it was a lot easier than before. Which of course has made me fall even deeper in love with surfing.
I mean what’s not to love? You’re exercising outside, in the sun, in the sea, burning what I can only imagine is an obscene amount of kilojoules AND having an insanely fun time doing it! It’s almost criminal!!
So a BIG thanks to Michelle from Stoked School of Surf for this amazing opportunity.
Keep an eye out for my article on the main Health24 website and if this sounds like your cup of tea then do it, I can promise you that you will love it just as much as I did.