surf, sun and just hangin’ out

Staying in the Bay area was a great decision to for this Labor Day weekend. The weather was unbelievable (clear blue skys with temperature in mid-70s) and many friends were around as well. Most of all, we got a chance to pursue an activity which Hrishi and I have been sitting on for the last 2 years or so – surfing.

Since the time we moved to Pacifica, I have been fascinated by the multitudes of people who surf at the Pacifica State beach. Numerous time we have gone to the beach just to watch them in action. Rishi was not too thrilled about the activity earlier, but after our Pismo Beach boogie boarding experience, he was totally on board. So we enrolled for this 2-day class with Adventure Out. It consisted of two 3-hr lessons on Saturday and Sunday.

We got to the meeting spot after a coffee and favorite bran muffin breakfast. It was great to be at the start of an activity after a 5-min drive. (normally, any activity includes waking up early and driving for an hour or more.) There were three instructors. It would be unfair to call them anything but mabes (aka. man-babes) 🙂 There were 14 students aged 14 to 35.

The first day was mostly about getting the right stance, understanding the surf and board terminology. Then we got to spend about 90 min in the “white water”. This is when the wave has already broken. We were trying to ‘pop-up’ on the board in the “white” for practice. More than the wave, what helped us was the push that the mabes were providing us, which left only the balancing part to us.

The second day’s instruction was about surf etiquettes, and how anti-social the good surfers could be. I am happy to know that Pacifica is a beginners beach and that most people there only sympathize with the fellow surfers. We were told how to read waves and “paddle” into “bowl” and “pivot” on the board. But man…it was hard. Paddling into the ocean just killed me. I was done after about an hour. It seems so easy on the television. I used to think that its like downhill skiing, and that one would magically be put back into the right spot for the next wave. Hrishi and I have been aching since. (and for anyone looking for recommendation about our mabes – I recommend them for this clinic. Everything was professional, the instruction was good, but this is one of those things others can teach you only so much)

Let me finish by a list of surprises..

  • the water felt like a non-issue in the wet-suit. It was the last thing on my mind while trying to surf.
  • surfing is “a lot of paddling, some waiting and little riding the wave”. (I need to build my upper body strength.)
  • sea lions are not afraid of showing up in very crowded beaches. We swam with one which Hrishi spotted.
  • it’ll take me years to feel the nirvana.

and some no-surprises

  • I suck at this, but I’ll still give it 2-3 more chances. (just like skiing)
  • it’s exhilarating. Your time in water consists of you and the ocean and nothing else. It’s good, but I need to feel comfortable being in the open ocean. Not learning swimming in my younger days will always hurt me, I think.

I would totally recommend this activity to anyone who likes some sun and a lot of fun, and is willing to work hard for it.

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