Surf Lessons with Chris

Well, it’s past midnight on Saturday, and I just woke up from a 3+ hour nap. For those of you haven’t figured it out, I took a nap past “the point of no return”, and burned myself for it. My night is effectively over. Worst of all, I think I ruined the Saturday night plans of one of my friends. I’m sorry Claire.

So why was I so tired? Because today, I went surfing for the first time ever with my roommate Chris and his girlfriend Angela. After renting a wet-suit and board at Bruce Jones Surf Shop (which was staffed by your obligatory spaced-out surfer dude), we headed over to Seal Beach in Orange County. It should come as no surprise to you that I absolutely loved it. I’ve been swimming since I was 5, and simply getting out in the water and paddling on the board was enough to make me happy.

Chris gave me some pointers and safety tips and then set me on my way. Seal Beach was great because the waves were good for beginners, and there was nobody else around, protecting myself and others from my idiocy.

At first, I tried timing up a few waves and body-boarding in to the beach. There isn’t much rocket science to it; you start to realize that you should move further back on the board when you flip over it a few times in a row.

The first time I got up on the board was only for a couple of seconds, but it felt great. I then crashed down and was instantly hooked. After that, I made it up on the board a good number of times, and even successfully rode all the way in to the beach a couple of times. It is a fun challenge, and the wipe-outs on even the wimpiest waves can really hurt. I am currently the proud owner of a red lovehandle.

One thing Chris told me was not to have the board set horizontally against the waves, since it would get carried away and be out of control. Despite that lesson, I began getting tired and let my board sit horizontally. A wave surprised me and sent my board in the air, and I took it directly on the chin. Flashbacks of my 9th grade broken jaw disaster (short story: I ran into a set of metal bleachers at full-speed and broke/destroyed my jaw, losing a tooth) popped into my mind. This time I was lucky and didn’t get hit in the teeth or anything. My face still hurts and I learned my lessons – don’t be stupid, and if you’re getting tired, get out.

After just one hour of surfing, I was beat. We then made it back to the rental spot and went to Sushi Daimon for some happy hour Teppan and sushi and beer. I recommend this place if you go during the 5-7 happy hour. I can’t imagine how people feel after surfing all day, but hope to find out.

I look forward to surfing again, and plan on buying a wetsuit and a used board. It’s a $500 investment that can last a long time, and all you have to pay for after that is parking. I might need to put a rack on the BeagleMobile too though, which I’d rather not do.

If I hadn’t ruined someone else’s night, I’d be perfect with surfing and then crashing out. This was cooler than going out and getting drunk and waking up with a mean bar tab, and that “Did I do something wrong last night?” feeling that often accompanies my headache-based hangovers. If I could do both things earlier in one day though, all the better.

In college, I’d always wake up early, and the entire campus would be dead, and I’d get bored until people woke up or I went to Buckeye Master’s Swimming. I still wake up early, but now I can go surfing.

Back to bed. Super Bowl is today. Go Bears.

Posted in , by Berto.

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