Surf Santa Barbara California

Time to switch gears from canyoneering to ocean sports, and that means surfing. I think it’s one of the last board sports on my list: snowboarding, done; wakeboarding, done; skateboarding – junior high attempts were enough to convince me that I sucked; longboarding – college wipe-outs and separated shoulders were enough to convince me that, once again, I sucked; paddleboarding, done – and ready for more with all the paddling spots here!; water boarding – wait, I’m not the CIA… I guess that’s my list of board sports. Let me know if I missed one.

I met Rob at A Frame in Carpinteria and signed up for my first surf lesson. News the night before told of the devastating earthquake that hit Samoa, resulting in a tsunami warning for the California Coast. That made for some sweet dreams! Luckily, conditions were good enough the next morning to go out and the marine layer – ‘fog’ for you non-locals – that had been lurking around lifted.

After a TMI verbal lesson on the beach I hit the water on the 12-foot longboard. With Rob’s help I caught a few waves on the inside and mastered the stand without looking like a ‘jack-in-the-box.’ Then he turned me loose. I’m convinced that it was about this time that strong current and riptides rolled in. My next 20 attempts at catching a wave resulted in 0 waves caught, one nose-dive (pearling is not cute); five missed waves – thank goodness there were a few of those thrown in amongst the pummeling – and 14 opportunities to either get dumped or master ‘turtling’ – grabbing the rails of the board and deliberately rolling it over to shield me from the mis-timed waved crashing on top of me. I mastered that roll fast.

There is only so much pummeling this body – and ego – can take. I sat down, exhausted. I woke up this morning visualizing catching a wave. I was acutely aware that my aching body was bruised and sore in some very unexpected places. So I’ll give it a rest for a few days. But I’ll be back!

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