And subsequently falls face first into the water, wiping out any hopes that he may have had of being a prodigy of the sport, even at his age.
Who would have thought that it would have taken 26 years & 11 months before a boy from California finally got up on a board in an attempt to ride a wave? Certainly not me, and if you would have told me that I would have done it while I was in South Africa I would have laughed at you. I mean South Africa? The place known for Great White Sharks. That’s where I would go surfing for the first time in my life? As it turned out, yes. I did not receive any coaching or training, I just went out there with a friend and decided to give it a go.
I had already been cage diving and bungy jumping, two of the more dangerous things you could do, so how dangerous could surfing in shark-infested waters really be? Quite dangerous actually. While that story is from a swimmer being fatally attacked, the prospect of being attacked a few weeks after, honestly, did not phase me – mainly it’s because I had forgotten about it by the time I actually got into the water and I had been in those waves for the previous four days leading up to the surfing attempt. I was comfortable in the water and made sure to not venture too deep or get caught in any rough currents.
After about what felt like an hour but was actually 25 to 30 minutes I knew I was done. My arms were dead from paddling all over the place and the pounding my body took from the waves made me incredibly sore, tired, and thirsty. I never got my footing and the best I ever did was when I stood too far on the nose, fell over it and into the water which then sent the board soaring into the air and me under the wave…and that was the best one.
I’m not sure if this experience will bring out a side in me that will make me more active in surfing – or what is more likely is that I will turn to bodyboarding – but either way I feel that the ocean is calling me.