Here I sat again, gasping for air in the middle of white water attempting unsuccessfully to dive under each wave pounding the surface. While I haven't been a surfer for long, I am going through the process of learning how to surf on a short board (instead of a nice long, luxurious, forgiving longboard). B and I ventured down to south Baja for 11 days in hopes that this would be a great way to get a lot of miles on my new 6'4 shortboard. But as stated above - diving under these waves seemed to be the first obstacle in getting out back to start surfing. After what seems like a half hour, I finally manage to find a window of flat water to join b (who made it out effortlessly).
Once out the back, I sat on my board and watched many waves pass under me as I tried to follow the patterns. After sitting for a bit, mainly catching my breath, b called me into my first wave. "Paddle! Paddle! PADDLE!" he shouted. Looking behind me at what seems like a massive wave (actuality maybe 4 ft tall) I start paddling. I feel the wave pick my board up, I begin to pop up,wobble a little bit, then fall off. This is how the first four days go. Paddle, pop up, wobble, fall. Paddle, pop, wobble, fall. Frustration was definitely a common feeling. But I knew if I kept trying I'd be able to stand and ride a wave. So here I sat again, now well into a week of surfing, trying to duck dive all this white water. I was frustrated. Most activities I can pick up pretty quickly or at least see some progress but I was still stuck in white water because my last wave I paddled, popped, wobbled and fell.
Then once I made it out back, visibly upset, b called me into another wave. I paddled, felt the wave catch my board, I then popped up and instead of wobbling - I was standing AND riding the wave! It was glorious. I couldn't believe it! I was so stoked! I paddled back out to the lineup and could not stop smiling. I ended up riding 5 more waves one after another without falling. Something clicked. B went back to the beach to try and capture some of my waves on camera. Unfortunately I got a little camera shy and couldn't quite catch the waves like I had before. But regardless something clicked that day and I was able to stand and ride a wave properly. While I still have a lot more to learn I certainly made some progress in Baja.
Surfing is hard, really hard. But at the end of the day I love the energy surfing breathes into my life. So while sometimes the ocean is relentless and refuses to let me get one single wave there is always that one moment of pure bliss where i catch the energy of that one wave. I let go and allow the water to carry me those few feet down the beach on my short board. It is totally worth the frustration, tired arms and at times even tears.
I'll keep you posted on my continued progress on my new short board. Next surfing stop will be in Bali :-)