Sunday, March 15, 2009

Moving from Canada to America: How do you surf?

We had been living in Newport Beach, Ca from Toronto for about six months when I was asked to go surfing. Uh surfing was not something that this Canadian girl had ever thought of, let alone tried to do. If I had been asked to go downhill or cross country skiing then I would have been totally ready. Instead, I smiled sweetly at my new friend and asked her "How do you surf?"

She gasped at me and wondered how anyone had ever lived without surfing in the Pacific Ocean. (I am pretty sure at this point, I also only had one piece bathing suits and no flip flops. Oh the horror.) 

When I went home to ask my parent's if I could go surfing with her family they asked me why? Wasn't surfing only for boys? Would I get hurt? Please could I put on a lot of sunscreen? Actually the sunscreen was a great point as my pale white Canadian skin was screaming to be burned. (Yes, we all get burned first before we tan, but I freckle and turn bright red first and then the brown comes.)

My parent's told me that if I go then I had to be very careful and get people to look out for me. I really had no idea what was in store for me. My friends parents picked me up in their convertible Mercedes (seriously) and they all (including her father) wore pony tails, flip flops, shorts and had their surf boards sticking out of the back of the car. Their dog was sitting with his head out of the window.

I was wearing my one piece bathing suit, with sandals, a lot of sunscreen and carried my towel. Her family let me know that I could 'borrow' one of their boards. We drove down to Corona del Mar beach and I was completely out of my element. Her family had probably been to this beach a million times. I was still trying to get my skin use to the new sun and keep the sand out of my bathing suit :)

Her family gave me a short lesson of surfing with the board on the beach. Words like surfing is simple, you'll be fine, you'll never know if you like it once you try, were all used. All I needed was a good 'don't be chicken' and I was ready to go.

I swam into the ocean with my new friend and paddled out to the waves. We were gossiping all the way so I thought 'surfing isn't that bad'. I was enjoying surfing so far. And then she grabbed her wave and rode it into the beach. She stood up on the board, hardly wiggled and smiled all the way. I swear to you that I saw a golden retriever swim by surfing on it's board.

My first time surfing was a little different and I truly learned what wipe out meant.

I saw my wave, paddled to it and then tried to stand on my 'pink' board. I slipped off right away and then flew hard into the ocean. This was pretty much how the rest of my day went. By the end of the day I was exhausted, had a lot of salt in my eyes and lungs and was starting to complain.

My friend's mother saved me when she then introduced me to a bodyboard/boogieboard. All you have to do is lay down on this board, not stand up and boogie your way in. I was officially an Orange County girl.  Have you ever tried to surf? Had an experience like this?

17 comments:

Ali Farmer said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog :)

I am a Colorado Girl--skiing yes, surfing no. I not even really sure I like swimming in the ocean...it's a little too salty for me. I prefer the chlorine taste (weird I know.)

Jules said...

Surfing scares me. Skiing (both water and snow) are hard enough.

Laura said...

Ali: I totally understand. I was also use to the pool and the safety of chlorine before I lived in Newport Beach.

Jules: So hard but a good story?

Maki said...

Surfing....gosh, I love surfing.

I grew up in Hawaii, so it was a must to learn.. But I remember those days when I couldn't even stand and get wiped out. Aw it was horrifying at first...

But now, I'm glad that I know how to surf now because it's the best feeling!!!

Beautiful blog, Laura and thanks for stopping by, Laura! I'll be back:)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

A lot of my friends started long boarding when we turned 40. I could not get the hang of it. I went back to my body board, which I can rip on so I love it. ANd when I get punded? I don't have to worry about the board taking me ut.

pj said...

Heck I am a city kid, never surfed. Yet I saw blue crush if that counts.

Laura said...

pj: It so does! So it's almost like you went surfing I promise.

A Country Wife said...

I have never tried to surf. I did have a kiddies surfboard made of polystrene (sp) when I was younger :)
I preferred swimming :)

Laura said...

A Country Wife: So do I. Thank you for stopping by.

Underfunded Heiress said...

How fun!

Didn't realize your are in NB. I'm your neighbor in Huntington Beach. How do you like it?

Underfunded Heiress said...

Oh, duh, silly me. You live in SF now.

Laura said...

Underfunded: No worries. I come back all the time. I went to high school in Newport. Great town. We also loved Huntington Beach. Great down to earth people.

Ruggy13 said...

aww thanks for visiting!!! I'm glad you stopped by!

thank god for boogieboards!

Dionne said...

I would LOVE to learn how to surf! I feel like I had so many chances, but blew it. I lived in Australia in a surf town called Noosa until I was 21, and then lived in Southern California until about 5 months ago. You would think in all that time I would have at least tried once!

Sounds like fun, even with the wipeouts.

(and in response to your comment on my blog: wouldn't it be awesome if my middle name was Laura?! But it's Michelle, oh well.)

Laura said...

Ruggy13: Thank G-d!!!

Dionne: Thank you for stopping by and let's pretend your middle name is Laura k?

Simplicity said...

A one piece - *gasp*! :)

I've never tried surfing, but it sounds like I'd have the same experience! Do you still surf??

Laura said...

Simplicity: I have to honestly say that I tried and tried and it never became my thing. The Canadian girl surfing sounds like an oxymoron! ;)