Learning How to Surf

Learning how to surf can be a very frustrating and time consuming process. At least for me, I learned, quit, and re learned over 4 SEPARATE times.

Some people are just natural watermen/water women. For me, I have always had a passion for the ocean, nature, and just the overall “beach scene.” I was always a great swimmer, but I was always very hesitant to learn how to surf.

My childhood best friend, Blake Hansen, was an amazing surfer, guitarist, child actor, and was part of a band! In 5th grade, Blake had a “surfing” birthday party at the beach where everyone got free surfing lessons. I stood up on my first wave during the lesson and I was beyond stoked to be doing what my best friend could do! I was so excited, my parents bought me a board later that day so I could begin a new hobby/sport. Well… things went south very quickly.

I learned on what is called a “longboard.” A long board is perfect for beginners, because it is long and thick and you can literally catch any ripple or wake in the water and call it surfing. Well, it turns out my parents bought me a “shortboard.” A much shorter, and thinner surfboard that is designed for intermediates and experts for performance surfing! Can you see an issue here?

The day after I learned how to “surf” was the day of decline. I paddled out on my new board with my best friend Blake and he was absolutely ripping. I did not catch a single wave that day and I was exhausted, frustrated, and very disappointed. I never wanted to surf again.

After “giving up” surfing because it was too hard, I decided to “re learn” a couple years after the day of decline. I was at San Clemente State Beach with my best friend, Cole Young, and his dad. His dad brought his board and surfed a couple waves. Cole decided to ride a couple as well. After seeing my best friend and his dad BOTH surf, I had to give it another try. So I paddled out there and did exactly what I learned a few years earlier. I got destroyed. I wiped out so bad, I almost drowned and I came onto shore with sand in every part of my body. I said, “I’m never surfing again.”

Well that lasted about another 3 years. My sophomore year of High School was when I really started getting into surfers, surf photography, and getting closer to the surf culture. But I still sucked at surfing. So I decided to relearn AGAIN. After spending 2 hours at Salt Creek Beach with my friends Josh and Lucas Massey, I could not stand on the board for more that 1 second. The frustration was just bringing back memories and reminding me I. CAN’T. SURF. So naturally, I gave it up… AGAIN!

When Junior year of High School roles around and football season comes to a close, I tell myself, “I am going to surf this spring.” Spring break comes, and I grab the forsaken shortboard from 5th grade and go out to surf. I re taught myself. I tried over and over and over and over again for hours… Until I finally surfed a wave for about 5 seconds. After that first wave, it was like tasting blood. I could not get enough. I surfed EVERYDAY that spring break. I lost 10–12 pounds because I was forgetting to eat and was just paddling and surfing all day (my football coaches weren’t too happy about that). I could not believe I was finally doing it.

I have been actually “surfing” for about 4 years now and I am constantly getting better, having more fun, meeting more people, and just enjoying the sport of surfing. I will be forever thankful that I did not give up on surfing for good and that I found it in me to stick with it. For surfing is something I now love and cherish.

Chris

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