That’s me on the Big Island of Hawaii. Getting ready to take my first surfing lesson. And my last. Why? Well, after having doused liberally with sunscreen (my Momma raised some strange kids, but she didn’t raise no stupid ones, and the sun on Hawaii is HOT!) I discovered that the brand I use is apparently not environmentally friendly, even though it does protect me from the burns! So I showered that off at the shop and applied their preferred brand – to which I am apparently allergic. So far so good. So we compromised and I showered THAT off and put my stuff back on. Ah well.
So then, one strips in a 10×10 unisex locker room (thank heavens for both eventing and ballroom, which has taught me that nobody particularly cares what you look like while you’re changing – they’re all concerned that someone is looking at them!) and puts on the wetsuit shirt shown above. Each surfing school has color-coded shirts (each shirt has a number on the back) so that the teachers can spot their students, know how many they left with, and make sure that the same number come back. Rather smart.
Now, what I hadn’t realized was: (1) the beach is not sand. It’s coral. Lots of coral. Sharp and bumpy coral. (2) when they talk about riptide, they are not kidding. (3) to get to the shore break where they teach (where it’s reasonably calm) you have to paddle out on your board for a quarter mile of real waves. (4 and most important) my knees do not like surfing.
Anyway, I tried. And discovered that coral is not friendly when you get slammed into it. That surfboards are rather hard when they drop on top of you. And that standing on a surfboard is not as easy as it looks.
Anyway, I have tried surfing and discovered that I prefer beaches with soft sand underfoot and that it’s going to take a lot more practice in summer waves. Cowabunga! (And no, the photo of me-on-surfboard will NEVER see the light of day – it’s bottoms up!)