I’ve been surfing! Twice so far, or three times if we count that time I had a go at seventeen. Because of that not-great experience as a youngun, on my bf’s pro board, I thought surfing was something I couldn’t do. It wasn’t until recently that it really clicked home that with the right board I might be able to learn.
I took a lesson in late December from the place my brother recommended, GoRideAWave at Broady. They were the closest to my house, but there are cheaper lessons around. The instructor, Chloe, was great, kind and thoughtful–she even put my hat back on my head when we came up the beach and I was dragging my board. The two hour lesson was fun but really hard. I came out bruised, with grazed knees, and a sore finger. Later I realised I had board-rash on my thighs.
I was given a good board for my first lesson–a nine foot soft board, enormous and heavy. That made it easier to stand up, but wrestling it to and around in the water was exhausting. In fact, I don’t think I could have even gotten it to the water by myself. Because it was a lesson, I had help.
I started to think about buying a board and knew I needed something a bit smaller, because if it was too hard to carry I wouldn’t want to go surfing.
So after lots and lots of research, and reading any reviews I could find (and they were a bit hard to find) and looking in all the local surf shops (where people assume I’m looking for surfboards for my kids!) I found Softlite, through reading a review of good beginner surfboards.
Soft boards are recommended for learners because we’re less likely to injure ourselves while we learn how to handle our boards.
Following their recommended board size chart, I picked the 7″6′ Chop Stick, like a mini mal, in purple. Maybe I should have gone longer, but this seems super long already. Also, it fits in my hatchback reasonably.
Softlite have a great range of colours. It’s a pity that board weight isn’t included in the board specs, generally. (This is one way board-shops could improve their board info to aid customer’s selection.) I hoped that with a name like ‘softlite’ the board would be relatively light, and it is.
Although I looked around, I couldn’t find a second hand Softlite board. I figure that most people who buy them keep them, because they’re great for anyone who visits and wants to try surfing.
Delivery was so fast that I didn’t know and wasn’t home when it came the first time, so it went away again. Sad face! When my board came (again, and stayed this time) I waxed it up and tried it out in the pool. Rohan had a ride too, and he loved it.
I took it out for its first surf yesterday and it was great! I’m still terrible at surfing but I caught lots of waves and stood up a few times. I’m keeping to the white water, and only about waist deep, until I get the hang of it. I can’t wait to go for another surf … maybe this afternoon.
I’m still sad that I can’t rock climb lately … my hands get too sore. I hope to get back into it. But meanwhile I’ve found another fun sport to top up my identity (when I’m sportless, I feel a bit what-am-I?) and improve my fitness.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Give it a go!