Friday, September 02, 2005

Let's Go Surfing Now, Everybody's Learning How ....

I haven't been able to post this week because the computer we have in our B&B doesn't accept cookies. So trying to post via my e-mail - hope this works.

This is our last day in Hawaii - we leave on a jet plane tonight. Much to my dismay. I really love Kauai, the island we're on now - much less developed thanMaui, more natural beauty, and great surfing!

Oh, did I tell you that I went surfing yesterday? I took a lesson with Russell, a very patient Australian surfing coach who also happens to coach some of the champion teenage female surfers (e.g. Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark 1 1/2 years ago... then went on to become national surfing champ).

We went out yesterday morning in a steady rain, but we didn't care. The beach was fairly empty except for a few other surfers, and the waves were nice, not too high. Russell's students were just me and M., a30-something guy from Boston.

We went out on 11-ft. longboards - about the longest you can get. Newbie boards. They're easier to catch a wave on, but much harder to manoeuvre. After about 20 minutes of listening to safety tips and some practice positioning on the boardon land, we set out for the water.

I stood up the first time I paddled out to catch a wave, much to my surprise. Russell said I have an advantage because women have a lower center of gravity, which helps us balance, and we tend to be more fluid than men. It was much harder for M., who is tall.

For the next two hours, we surfed. I caught many of the waves I aimed for. I tended to land hard, though, as I rode the waves all the way to the beach, instead of jumping off in knee-high water, which is what you're supposed to do if you don't want to injure yourself.

And when I wiped out, I WIPED OUT. I bruised my left shin badly, and my side is a little scraped up. But no worries - I can still run.

Anway. Surfing is a matter of keeping your eyes on the horizon instead of looking down at your board, paddling fast and getting up faster to steady yourself, and knowing how to read a wave.

Of course, I have no idea how to turn or do anything fancy. Nonetheless, I am totally hooked.

I'd go rent a board and surf today if we weren't heading back to the mainland.

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