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Lessons From Surf Camp, Day 2

July 14, 2015

1. Wearing your own rash guard will do you no good. The instructor will make you wear the camp’s rash guard anyway so that the lifeguards know whom you belong to. Grrr. On the bright side, they had a size Large today.

2. SO. MUCH. SALT.

3. Surf conditions change by the hour, not just by the day. Tide, wind, temperature, and more all contribute. Before lunch we had smooth, powerful, medium-sized waves, warm temperatures, and a little bit of sun. After lunch we had choppy waves in a mix of sizes, strong winds, dark clouds, clod water, and eventually rain.

4. Surfing in the rain is exactly like surfing without rain, Either way you’re soaking wet, both from above and below.

5. The annoying loudmouth in the group gets a lot quieter once the instructors give him a derogatory nickname.

6. Sunscreen on your board = slippery board = lots of wipeouts before you get annoyed enough to trudge all the way back up the beach to change to a less slippery board.

7. The upside to bigger waves is that it makes surfing more fun. The downside is that it’s much harder to paddle back out to catch the next big wave.

7. Everything hurts. Everything. My neck hurts from keeping my head up as I paddle out and from constantly looking around to see what’s coming. My shoulders and back hurt from paddling. My chest hurts from hours spent being bounced up and down on the board. My elbows hurt from rubbing them on the board while waiting for the next wave. My knees hurt from bouncing and rubbing. My toes hurt from grabbing the board. My hamstrings hurt from … I don’t even know why my hamstrings hurt.

8. When a big wave comes along but crashes a little too early, it crashes right down on your head, pounding you and, if you’re not super careful, throwing you off your board. When this happens a whole bunch of times in a span of about 15 minutes, you end up feeling like you’ve just lost a boxing match.

9. I am a lot better at surfing than I was yesterday. My pop-ups are far from perfect or even consistent, but I was often able to readjust and to fight to keep my balance instead of going down with every wobble. I was even able to steer a little. But I still suck at surfing. It’s a good thing there are three more days of this.

10. Despite all of the negatives and all of the soreness, I deeply enjoyed myself today and I’m really looking forward to the next three days. When you get everything right and ride a wave all the way to the sand, it feels so freaking good that all you want to do is paddle back out for more. I just hope there’s a Large rash guard waiting for me in the morning.

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