I paddled out into the waves again this past weekend. I had almost given up after my last attempt, but since I was at the beach and the surfboards were there too, I figured I'd try one more time.
I spent an hour and a half paddling out, not catching waves, and paddling out again. Paddle to the left, paddle to the right. Paddle into waves and don't catch them. Paddle back out again. Eventually I gave up and paddled back to shore. But after giving up for a second time, I was disappointed with myself, and felt like I had let my brother down. So after lunch, I tried again.
This time, with a longboard.
Amazing. My first few tries I was riding the break of waves, in the whitewash. When I stood up, I felt like everything was in slow motion. I was very aware of the distinctly different feeling of the board under my feet, which until then had spent the entire morning under water. I felt every little vibration coming through the board from the water against the bottom of it. I looked in the faces of the people I surfed past and saw them watching me. Watching from the viewpoint I had taken all morning, watching everyone else.
After a few rides like this, I started dropping in on the face of waves. Real surfing! I was ecstatic after my first real ride, and looking back over my shoulder I saw my brother going absolutely nuts with excitement for me, slapping the water and screaming after me. I went back out and did it again. And again. Eventually my brother went in to take a nap on the beach, and I kept surfing. When my brother came back out a little later on, he said it was 3:30 and he had to get to work.
I had been out for 4 hours straight, and wasn't nearly ready to leave. But I had to, and I'm now left with the itch to get back to the waves this weekend. I can only hope that the longboard is there. And pray for surf.