My Surfing Saga: the Beginner

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One of the top goals in my life right now is to learn to surf. Properly. Not just lay on a board like this;

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Paddling about in Thaa Atoll Kanimeedhoo, Maldives

But really surf. As in ride a clean wave, do bottom turns, cut backs, get tubed (just demonstrating my knowledge of surf lingo. pfft)

I have tried to learn before too. First in 2010 (looks like most of my adventures happened in 2010. Just shows what fun you can have when you are not sitting at a desk), I remember one evening I was staring at the waves at my local surf break Raalhugandu and mind surfing (you know when you imagine yourself on a board and riding it so smoothly). Next day I meet my surfer friend Chin (who hadn’t spoken to me in ages), and he asks me ‘Niuma, I’m starting some beginner surf lessons for coupla girls. Would you like to come?’. OHMYGOD! I thought. This is it. I can’t say no. So I said ‘OHMYGOD Yes!’ And he says ‘ Come here at 6am tomorrow morning. Don’t be late!’

Next day I wake up at 6:30 and was in a nervous wreck. I thought of my surfing episode with Fiona.

Once upon a time in early 2009, I went in the waves with my couchsurfer friend Fiona, instructed by my other surfer friend Hassan (popularly known as Beachey). I got hit on the forehead with the board and got a nice little bump. End of my first real attempt at surfing. Why do these boys always get you to go out on a shortboard straight away?

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Fiona’s farewell dinner – © Fiona

And before this, it was in Sri Lanka. But with bodyboards. In the waves of Hikkaduwa and Mirissa. I lost a contact lens each day rolling under the waves. And my modesty too (my bikini went a bit ‘astray’ after I got rolled along to shore). I was fearless at the time. Diving straight into 5 ft (at least they seemed like it) waves at Mirissa.

Tranquil Mirissa

Anyhow. Back to 2010. There were two other girls as well. We went out into Second Reef on the bodyboard a few meters out. How scary are those whitewash coming at you one second in between each? But I managed to go out farther and farther. And came back in one piece. I was pretty proud of myself for not getting caught in a current and being swept away and having the coastguard come and rescue me.

We had a few paddling and take off lessons in the artificial beach. The days were mostly spent sunbathing on the beach benches than on the boards.

And then one day I got out again into Second Reef on a board, and……got carried away by a wave, straight into the rocks. Hit my jaw. Hard. Cracked a tooth. There was blood and gore. All over.

That was the end of that. The next week I went backpacking South East Asia for most of the year.

To be continued.