On the world’s smallest wave, in water little more than waist-deep, it’s still easy to wobble-off and wipeout.
I did manage to stand up and ride a couple into shore with a push from the instructor and paddling like crazy, including the very first wave. Performance deteriorated after the first wave as I over-compensated six ways to Sunday.
My wife rode several all the way into shore.
It’s a helluva lot more work than I anticipated – a sport not just an activity, and I have a newfound major respect for the guys and gals who do it. With the only throttle-mechanism being your paddling arms, and with the board being in the way since you’re lying on it with your neck cranked up and looking off into the wet and salty distance, paddling occurs with the outer arms and elbows using a hitherto unknown and unused set of muscles that God probably did not invent but the Devil did.
Towards the end of my exhaustion I got set upon a wave that directed me to the stone breakwater, which me being unstable and unable to avoid, I attempted to bank-off like a shooting a berm – a proper dirt-riding technique that would work if you had a throttle and another motivating source and some tires – and dirt. In water that equals mud – my arms were up in the air, not down paddling in the water. I managed to carom off a few-three slippery sub-surface rocks and headed (leaned) away from the pier before belly-flopping off into the clear water away from the stones. Got a good earful from the instructor and lost the fin. Watercrashr.
Afterwards came lesson #2 about surfing: Later that evening over some beers I was still totally stoked and amped by the rushing endorphins, and eager to take another lesson until I awoke with arms like cement pleading for ibuprofen – the makers of Advil must burn huge offerings to the Surf Gods.
Snorkeling on the other hand is weightless and effortless by comparison, and the fish and turtles who are not curious appear only slightly annoyed at your presence. With masks that have RX diopters we can actually see all the marine life, instead of the fuzzy blotches which inhabit the world when my glasses are removed. They are totally recommended for those of us who are near-sighted and reveal a world of activity that you maybe didn’t want to actually know about.
It was a great sixteen days, more pictures when they get developed to CD.