Tip toeing over large pebbles, balancing on the balls of my feet trying not to face plant into the warm water. The waves of the ocean slowly made me loose my balance as I tried to hold on to the large surfboard under my arm. It was 7:00am and the sky was slightly overcast, there was mist over the water making it look a dark grey, yet still clear that I could see the rocks under me. As I paddled further into the ocean everything was quite and still. At a distance I could see small people sitting on their surf boards waiting for the next set of waves to roll in. My cousin Micah and I also sat on our boards patiently.
“Turn around, try catch this one!” he said as a small wave approached us, I turned my board around as fast as I could and begin paddling until I felt the wave pass underneath me. Missed it, I waited for my cousin to approach me again then we went out a little further. After missing a few other waves, I did it!
I felt the water pick my board up and carry me towards the shore, I was moving so fast, I didn’t want to change positions because I felt like I would loose my balance and fall off the board. I lay there facing forward with my arms locked and stretched supporting my body. I slowed down and the wave passed. I could see my cousin Kylie and aunty Katie on the shore waving at me so I waved back. I got off my board and turned to my cousin who was so far from me now.
The water moved under me again as the next wave carried me forward, this time I wanted to try and stand so I pushed my arms down on the board. The next thing I knew I’m summersaulting into the moving water in front of me. I reach for the surface and gasp for air. I moved the wet hair from my face and got back on the surfboard, I was so disoriented as this had all happened so fast.
After a few more tries I managed to get on my knees and surf into the shore… I didn’t stand but I got half way there. After about one hour I was ready to come back into the shore. I tip toed back over the pebbles and sat on the green beach chair. After that experience I saw every surfer out in the ocean differently, every time they caught a wave I was amazed at how smooth and easy they made it look.
Later I found out this was where my uncle and aunty had both learnt to surf. Apparently this is a great beach for that because of the way the waves break or something like that. The day got progressively hotter and the marine layer disappeared after I got out of the water. The Skye turned this beautiful blue, with not a cloud in sight. The rest of the day I spent exploring and taking pictures with Kylie.
Driving home I thought about the day and was happy with my first surfing experience. I definitely would like to give it a go again, and next time be able to stand (or at least stand once before going back to New Zealand.) I also later found out that the beach we were at is know for sharks… Yes SHARKS. If I had known before getting in the water, I wouldn’t have even gotten close! But I’m happy I did (And that I didn’t loose a leg in the process.)
San Onofre State Beach, California.
Old Man’s Beach 2018