Nothing can quite explain the rush you feel when you catch your first wave.  It took a while living in Hawaii before I decided I wanted to learn how to surf.  Once decided, we went with a friend to Waikiki (an insane place to learn how to surf) and decided to give it a try.

It’s much more complicated than it looks.  Paddling is my least favorite part of surfing.  It takes a lot of effort to paddle through the waves.  I would love to paddle in still water, but that defeats the purpose of surfing.  No pain, no gain I guess!

The most important thing about catching a wave is timing.  Your back is to the wave, because you want to be facing inland, but you have to be constantly looking behind you so that the wave doesn’t catch you off guard.

Once you see a wave coming, you start paddling like crazy.  Most times, especially when I was just learning, I couldn’t paddle fast enough, and I would miss the wave.  It would fly right under me.  The magic happens when you end up paddling as fast as the wave.  When this happens the wave catches you and you glide right on top of it.

The first time I caught a wave, I didn’t even think about standing up.  There was such a rush lying on the wave and letting it take me.  The wind blows through your hair, and you feel the water running under your toes.  Time almost stands still.

Then the wave dies, and you slow down. It takes a couple seconds and the exhilaration of catching the wave hits in. I’m sure I had the biggest smile on my face after my first wave.  It’s instantly addicting, and it doesn’t matter that you now have to paddle back out, because you want more of that rush.

I am sad to say that I didn’t get to surf as often as I would have liked to in Hawaii.  I took formal surfing lessons and right as I really learned how to stand up and surf I got hurt (that story is for another post).  Unfortunately, my injury took a long time to heal, so I couldn’t go surfing for a long while after learning how to surf well, and then life got in the way.

In Michigan there aren’t many waves, unless you go in the middle of winter. I’m not so sure I’m that daring, but I’m definitely planning on picking up stand-up paddleboarding.  I’ll take any chance I can to get on a board!

Surfers in Waikiki


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