‘Listen I tell you something disgusting. Part your legs like so. Yes. Now, you see toilets in ground, yes? Good. Imagine one below – here –you have to get all that stuff right in centre, all your ones and two’s, that way you have your centre balance. Yes?’
My first surfing lesson had just begun.
To be honest if it wasn’t for the athletic men and gorgeous sunshine I’m not sure what drew me to surfing – it’s just cool. The beady bracelets, the wetsuits, messy hair; it’s a sure recipe for deliciousness. So I signed up to a surf lesson along Playa de las Canteras only to discover it’s actually rather difficult. You need serious upper body strength and gusto, as Ollie my instructor reminded me…
‘Natalie when you lift yourself on board, imagine you-lift-yourself-on-man. Now – go!’
So I went for it and belly flopped myself onto every potential wave. At this stage we were taking fairly small whitewash and the current was tame in comparison to the sea´s attitude this June. Swallowing half the sea is also a small habit you will have no choice in enduring.
When you go into your first lesson try not to get so frustrated, as I did, with spending 2 hours barely getting the method right. Instead avoid over thinking every instruction and you´ll have a much better time either body-boarding into the sand or eventually kneeling, as I have more recently managed to do and feel a great sense of accomplishment. Sort of.
It’s all about the method
It turns out surfing is very methodical, who knew? The technique goes as such:
“Paddle, paddle, paddle, hands on deck, foot to side, push your pretty ass in air and… UP!” So you should be standing now, kneeling or falling (yet again) deep into the water.
Swallowing half the sea is also a small habit you will have no choice in enduring.
The boards are actually really heavy and wide, the current of the waves are strong, every wave is different and the method is slow when you´re a newby.
The whole process is a real challenge and if you´re a water baby its the perfect sport to try. It’s also completely exhausting and dressing post-surf proved difficult - to say the least - apparently I have muscles in my armpits which decided to throb relentlessly, making basic tasks a mammoth.
Part your legs like so. Yes. Now, you see toilets in ground, yes?
Surfing will test your endurance mentally to keep throwing yourself into the water after you´ve been beaten up by the waves and of course a physical feat.
I’ll meet those waves again and stand on that board, somehow, remembering to aim for the hole in the ground and to pounce on that man.