This year I decided to check a couple of things of my bucket list and one of them was learning how to surf. I have been procrastinating about this for a long time, but finally in June I picked up a board and was hooked. So exciting when I rode my first wave!
So when my friend asked me to join him in Maui, Hawaii for a couple of days, I did not hesitate. Where better to perfect your ‘surf style’ where surfing was invented . Surf with the Hawaiians!! Yay!!
I really wanted to make sure to, not only perfect my rides, I also wanted to learn how to ride a smaller, harder board.
So before I hung with the Hawaiians, I picked up some surf vocabulary so I could ‘speak the language’ – so betty, cranking, choka, taking the drop, epic, in the soup, and going off are now new to my dictionary. I think betty is now one of my favourites; it is one of the oldest and well know surf slang for a surfer girl who surfs.
So, I spend 4 days surfing the warm and clear waters of Kihei, Maui. We started off at Kamala park, where the surf is decent early morning and good to get my bearings again.
I was sharing the waves with large green turtles who feed there, and decide to pay tribute to the surfers, and this ‘betty’ in particular! How cool to see those heads sticking out of the water to catch some air while you are lying on your board waiting for that next wave to roll in. The days in the water I noticed an amazing difference from one day to the next. Practice makes perfect and when I climb on that board again for another wave, I am getting better and better and my stance improves and I look less like a dork (haha). Even the well trained Hawaiian surfers say they learn something new every time they get on that board, no matter how long they have been surfing, so that gives a girl confidence!
My surf buddy/instructor Kainoa was able to perfect my rides, my style, and gave me confidence. He took me out the last day at the Cove in Kihei, squeezing in another 1,5hr before my flight home. For those who know me; they know how competitive I am, and how I always want to improve as fast as possible, so I dropped from an 11 footer soft top, to a 10 footer hard board which allowed to me manoeuvre better and faster through the waves. And oh my…what a thrill to ride this board and turning the board how I wanted it, instead of letting the board dictate where I was going. I could literally feel the improvement with every wave I took!
The feeling of being in the water, one with nature is the best cure for…..basically anything. As surfers, no matter whether you are a novice or a pro, we are extremely lucky to have something so pure and exhilarating that it becomes easy to get passion for it. It becomes a lifestyle that fuels passion for the environment, for travel, for other people, the natural world and, very simple, a love of life.I realized that surfing is a bit of a selfish pastime (but I guess that is ok). We can paddle out with friends but in the end, we’re alone in gliding along that wave. Realizing that that wave will end and willl no longer exist and it was just me (probably) who got to experience that moment. Suddenly, a selfish activity completes me, gives me identity, and fills me with confidence.
Next stop: Canggu, Bali!!