My entire childhood was basically spent in the water. I would have spent days swimming if I could have. And now that, that part of my life is over, it felt as if a part of me had gone missing. So when I was going back to Maui this past summer I knew I had to try surfing! It only felt like the next natural step for me and it was something I had desired to try for a very long time.
So when I got back to Maui, I went and looked for a surf class right away! After reading and researching many, I chose Kaanapali Surf Club. They had great reviews, small class sizes and had classes down the beach from my hotel. (I was staying on Kaanapali beach and went to the Marriott location for the class.)
When I got to my lesson, I met my instructor Brock, where he gave me a surf shirt, shoes and then walked us through the motions on land. He then taught our class the most important lessons in surfing. 1. Don't ever look down. You will fall, face first off the front the board and it will hurt. You are actually suppose to pick a spot on the beach and stare at it (it's SO much harder then it sounds). 2. If you are going to fall, fall off the back of the board like a back flop, this way you don't go face/head first into a rock or coral. After we actually practiced surfing on land and I was laughing at myself the whole time! But it was the best thing I could have done to get comfortable on the board! We learned two ways to get up on the board and figured out which one worked best for us. One way to stand up on the board is, you just pop straight up from your stomach to your feet and lean back. The other you first, jump onto your knee's on the board and then pop up to standing. I tried both many times but ended up liking going to my knee's first, that way I could make sure I was not looking down or about to and steady my balance.
FINALLY, it was time to get in the water and try it out! I won't lie even though I feel almost more comfortable in water then on land sometimes (I fall too often). I was nervous! I didn't want to fall on my face! But all of a sudden my turn came to go and I had to paddle. All of a sudden a wave caught my board and I hurt Brock scream "GO" so I just popped up onto my knees and then tried to stand up! I ended up deciding to stare at a specific spot on the beach and pray I did not loose my spot so I would not look down or move my gaze. And thankfully I did not and I got up on my first try! It was one of the coolest feelings I have ever had and such a rush. Instantly I was hooked.
I ended up not falling once and made it all the way to shore twice! Granted these were baby waves but it was the best place to start learning. Brock joked I did so well I should go surfing with the instructors later that day. I could have fallen off my board then for laughing so hard because I was no where good enough to even try to surf with them!
Overall, it was the best money I spent in Maui and I would recommend trying surfing to anyone who is not afraid and likes the water. I cannot wait to try it again and hope to keep getting better. It was the perfect fix for this retired swimmer missing the water!
ps. check me out below in action making some great faces