I can’t remember all the days I had surfed in between now (late november) and when I finished my 5 pack of lessons. But it’s been nearly 15 board rentals from the shack, and 3 from the surf shop. And now I have my own board to take out.
All I know is I’ve been out every chance I can get, I’ve been out when the beach is closed in massive swell, I learnt to copy other guys who were more experience by jumping in the rips, even though I was afraid to at first I got over it, and also the fear of swell, which is nothing to be scared of, swell won’t ever hurt you, even big swell, it is not a wave, its just a lump you can float over. Just gotta learn to close your mouth as you go over the tip of the swell so you don’t swallow water, and everything is fine. I’d been out in shallow and deep at both ends and other areas of the beach, I got to learn where all the rips are, I know this beach very well now, and feel safe there. I know where it drops suddelny into deeper and back into shallow up the north end. I know when I can and can’t paddle out in the weaker rips closer to the middle, I know what strength wave breaks I can just paddle straight into without needing to eskimo roll, I know when I need to eskimo roll, after many weeks I gradually gained the ability to lie stably on my board, and then a couple more weeks I could sit on the back, couple more weeks I could sit in the middle and then even sit without holding the board. I hired boards from the surf and skate shop when the beach was closed, old timer surfers gave me tips when I was out there, and encouraged me not to give up. These people are very different from the surfers I knew growing up, most the ones I knew at school were all bullies and hated anyone that didn’t surf, or picked on people that weren’t part of that crowd for not wearing all the cool dude clothes, now I realise, that shit has nothing to do with surfing, and those people were and probably still are dickheads, surfing is about you and the waves, and nothing else, the cultures that humans associate with it, are not surfing they are cultures, the trends, fashions, styles, are also not surfing they are just a massive wank, they are probably the worst thing related to surfing, the real surfers like the people I’ve met out in the waves, are good people and have re-established in me some faith in humanity with their helpful attitude. I learnt to eskimo roll and place my weight more forward when paddling from an old guy too, which I appreciate.
I’ve never been a follower and will continue to learn to surf and improve, all I care about is waves, not impressing anyone. Hopefully one day when I can surf well, I can help others.
I write this now as someone who has surfed probably 25 times now. in various conditions and am still very much a beginner, but am now feeling comfortable with my weight and balance when paddling and sitting on the board. And am getting closer and closer to standing up frequently.