It never crossed my mind that one day I will be an expert surfer! It has been a journey of a lifetime. Having meet myriad of difficulties along the way, I never regret the decision I made to start surfing. It is no simple task but with patience and determination, my life has taken a new dimension. With the experience I have in surfing, I will take you through my journey, give you some tips and show you why surfing and my life are inseparable.
How did I start? Was it easy?
Nothing is ever easy; it calls for determination and dedication for exemplary performance. Mine was not a cake to yummy. I almost stopped it all together. It was one of the hardest tasks to live with. Understanding the basics involved was my trick. Surfing involves dangerous ocean environment, therefore it is imperative that you sharpen your swimming skills before daring surfing. Understanding the safety aspect is important. Getting to know the perfect surfing spot should be major. In case you don’t know like I didn’t, ask the local available lifesavers.
The equipment comes second. The board should go hand in hand with your body and talent. I had a problem with this, like most of the surfers; I did not know that is matters. So my first day was hell. My small board could not support my huge body size. I tried once and again, at the end I borrowed one from my fellow surfer. It worked. I came to learn that, wider boards give more support and balance. A first time surfer needs much balance and ease to stand, paddle then ride on.
Also the swimsuit comes in handy, I tried doing it in some other attires but I could not stay in the water any longer. My swimsuit has enabled me to tremendously increase the amount of time that I spend in water.
I heard a group of interested young college students ask “how do one paddle in water?”
There are different methods that you can employ, majorly we have
- Arm Paddling- The arms are the main tool in this. Ensure that your body is inclined towards the nose of the board. Feet are kept together and a freestyle swimming method is applied.
- Kick paddling – The driving force in this comes from the legs. For effectiveness, slip your body backwards to allow your legs to kick.
- Kick paddling and Arm paddling combination- It involves applying the above two paddling methods to attain the required momentum.
In my life as a surfer, I have come to learn that no game, hobby or any other form of leisure that operates without certain etiquettes. Surfing is not in any way an exception. I tag my success in surfing to the following etiquettes.
- Never come closer to an on board surfer. Always maintain the distance.
- It is prudent to respect other surfers’ right of way; anyway it is “you give so I do”.
- Any individual who is contiguous to the breaking wave deserves the priority of right of way.
- Respect other rider’s wave.
- Always be apologetic in case you make a mistake which either or not result to collision. Use polite words like “I am sorry” etc. Courtesy costs nothing although it gives much.
What do I get from surfing?
Surfing has been a heart of my steady mental, physical and even social health. Since I started surfing, all has been a transformational growth towards better life. Initially it looked as wastage of time, an activity meant to kill my time. Later it became evident that surfing could become a solution to my longtime disturbing health issues. The following are the tangible benefits that I can attach to surfing.
Obese body had been one of my embarrassing things in life. Although I could do everything right from aerobics, sit-ups, adhere to certain diet programs etc all could not yield any single fruit. Instead the more I religiously followed the expert advices the more I added a pound or two. I was very embarrassed.
After doing this for some times, I decided enough with it. I knew my case was as well as irreversible. Perhaps I lost a number of friends, became lonely and an all alone individual. This monotony and boredom led me to explore the world of surfing. Do you think I did it because I thought it could assist? No I thought it could be the only appropriate way of wasting the free time after long days’ work.
After attending surfing for two weeks, something happened. I realized and could feel that my weight was managed. That evening after my then only hobby, I decided to weigh myself on my way home. Wow! It had perfectly worked. Now I was 2 pounds less than what I weighed the last time before I started surfing. It was clear now in my mind that, the more I surf the more my weight declined. I was jubilant about the whole thing. I did it every day. It was working. Precisely, the more a managed my portions, constantly surfed the slimmer I became.
My figure completely changed, I burnt a lot of energy each day and after 6 months, I had attained the perfect size eight figures. I looked sexy and pleasing to my friends and aliens. My friends list suddenly inflated.
I can suddenly testify that surfing has done me good. It has helped me attain strength and overcome my weak body. The paddling and on board standing just works magic. Arm paddling has enable me attain massive strength around my arms and also the back muscles. Kick paddling improved my legs strength. Arms and kick paddling also worked on my heart rate hence strengthening my heart and lungs. Generally now I am a strong individual who can stand and proof the strength in surfing.
According to Janine Strickland’s (Head instructor at one life surf school in Canada) article, “Best Health” it is true that surfing is an ingredient to mental growth. It served as the best avenue to forget my predicaments. It created patience and peace of mind in my life. Once I am in the waters my entire mind and zeal is dedicated towards the waters. This has tremendously assisted me to become a better intellect with the passing time.
Efficiency and performance
I heard somebody say that exercise strengthens one’s mood. Certainly, I have come to concur with them. A few minutes of surfing, substantially reduces my bad feelings, and heightens my positive mood. It enables me to freshen up and attain the highest level of mental tranquility. These entire tenets have assisted me to scale up my efficiency and performance in life.
Danger from the ocean rips and how to maneuver ocean injuries
Over the years, I have learned the ocean tricks. Waters can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Once you slip and make a miscalculated move, you will be in for a rude shock! As a surfer, out of errors and constant corrections, I have come to learn the art of reading the ocean. To start with, you need to have a sharp eye to notice any impending danger, all safe and dangerous spots in the vast sea/ocean.
Once you have that in mind, you will be able to circumvent ocean rips (a strong current speeding out to ocean or sea) and other dangers.
These are some of the rips characteristics, when you see something like this, take cover!
- Floating debris out to ocean or sea.
- Smooth sea surface characterized by smaller waves, beside white water.
- Dark color than usual in the sea. This is a deep water indication.
- Muddy brownish ocean/sea water. This result from the sand stirred from the ocean bottom.
It is also worth noting that the ocean is no safe haven. There can be many dangers. You need to be proactively engaged towards mitigating or avoiding these dangers completely. These tips will be of assistance;
- Apply all the rules and restrictions put forth.
- Make sure you have company when going to surf.
- If you are a fresh man in surfing, make sure you safely wear a rope and tie it to the surfboard.
- First observe how other surfers are managing before kicking off to the water.
- It is wise to warm up before stating to surf.
- Make sure that you are comfortable with your surfing outfit.
- Always remember to wear your sunscreen.
With that said and done, you can be assured of your safety. It really works. I have been applying those basics and I can attest to their applicability.
I cannot end this context without giving credit to surfing. Through surfing, I have learnt a lot in life. I cannot really be able to quantify the lessons from this great hobby. Safe the self esteem it restored to me. Surfing is one of my biggest achievements in life. I never regret the day I took a step and went to that beach, out of boredom to try something new. All the same, let me share with you some of these life improving values.
Surfing is my passion. It is that kind of an activity I look forward to every morning even before I take my breakfast! The amazing concept about surfing is the self conviction that comes with it. Every day, I promise myself to set a new standard in the waters. It is like a dream that you have to actualize every day or a commitment to yourself. This brings out self-command and discipline. When I reflect at all the good things I have achieved through surfing, my desire to do my best is amplified. I have become a performer both at work and in other social dimensions. I have learned that, if you really want something, go out of your way to get it!
Nobody is born with commitment trait running in the veins. This is something you progressively inculcate into your system. Commitment is vital in our life endeavors and its absence is detrimental. When we are committed, we earn trust and respect from those people around us. When I started surfing, one of my friends approached me and said, “Girl, are you really serious about this surfing thing?’’ “Yes” I quickly responded. Unknown to her, deep down, I was struggling with commitment issues. Having let myself down previously, in many scenarios, I promised myself that my life had to change.
By this conviction, I was able to successfully train on surfing–now I am a superstar in my own game! I have to accomplish everything I set my eyes on. This has created a positive attitude towards me and most people want to work with me. I am result oriented than never!
Patience is a virtual. If you want good things in your life, you cannot do without patience. Surfing is a game of patient people. Those who are ready to wait for the sea to calm even for an hour. When I started surfing, I almost lost it. But I kept encouraging myself. The whole beach was full of surfers, why not me. To paddle through the waters and be an expert is a no rest case. It calls for total confidence in oneself, patience and encouragement. And eventually, you will reap good fruits. The same applies to the other life dimensions. Patience pays!
Persistence makes perfection. I was ready to quit the whole surfing idea on my 5th attempt! I had failed miserably and I thought I could never make it like others on the beach. As I lay on the beach sand tapping my surfboard contemplating my next move. “Don’t give up, you are almost there”! A lady shouted at me. I thought this was a rude joke, but it wasn’t. She gave me the motivation to try again and again. Eventually, I succeeded and even surpassed my own expectations.
I trembled at the sight of the vast ocean water. I never imagined that I could surf. That was risky, and with my holding back attitude, I needed God’s intervention if I were to make it. I could even run back to the beach if I saw an oncoming wave! This faded away with time and I started seeking big challenges. When surfing, you learn to face danger, not running away from it! And once you have courage in your system, you can do wonders!
This is just but a leaf of my life in surfing. It is in me and as long as I have strength to control the surfboard, I will soar in the waters just like an eagle in the sky.