Beginning to learn how to surf can be quite frustrating. In fact, it can be defeating and cruel and tiring and abusive. It is probably the one thing that I knew was going to be difficult, but also the most rewarding and life changing. I say this because looking back, I am glad that I stuck with it because there is more important things to surfing than catching that perfect wave.
I started in December three winters ago with the thrill of riding the white wash. And then I became discouraged and acquainted with getting smacked in the face by the ocean. I realized just how tiny and powerless I am against her raging currents and blunt force. A friend had told me that all my wipe-outs were a way of “paying my dues” as a surfer. This can be a real headache especially when you day dream about shredding it like all the other surfers who actually know what they are doing. So I decided no more day dreaming. I had to get up and move! Paddle out when it was good and firing. Paddle out when it was mushy and small. For every aspiring surfer, and a lesson on life, we have to understand what it is like to fail in order to not make the same mistakes again and appreciate when we do get things right in a perfect moment. That is when we can experience the blissful feeling of gliding down the face of a wave. An experience I call my own and the soul reason I love surfing. I learned that I paddle out now because yes, I want to surf and catch waves, but more so because I want to feel the salty water on my face and just float for the sake of slowing down. Be patient and study what the wind and sea are doing. We are, after all, just guests entering into the home of our mother’s ocean. So when she does push us around and slap us silly under the folds of her powerful arms, it is a reminder to keep us in check of who really is the boss. The ocean will always win. Do not try to fight that. Instead respect her, ALWAYS, and you will be rewarded with some of the greatest surf sessions of your life.
So going back to my frustration in learning how to surf. This piece was created after a harsh, defeating session in my first year when not only did I catch no waves but I also ate it pretty good. As I was drawing, I pretended there was an old man screaming at me, “Move! Paddle like you mean it! Paddle like a shark is coming after you and your life depended on you catching that wave!” The last part is what a random old man actually said to me out in the line up. Even a stranger could see that I was hesitating. I had to stop thinking. I found out the old man out in the water and the one in my image was right… I just had to get my ass up and move!
Medium: Pen & Ink