Getting Reflective Eight Months Since Getting My First Surfboard

It's been eight months now since surfing took over my life.

As I'm suffering from shoulder muscle trouble that's preventing me from surfing at the moment I've been getting a bit reflective upon my journey so far. A long(ish) cycle ride, past Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton gave me more time to mull over it too. I thought I'd jot down the most significant things that come to mind about my sliding into a surfing life, what I didn't know, what I didn't expect:

1. The history. I didn't know the Sport of Kings had been recorded by Captain Cook's crew and that it had such a long history. Ironically I have also found it strange how recently advances in surfing have taken place - many of the people who have shaped surfing into what it is today are still living, breathing and surfing. The pleasure of meeting Bob McTavish in Croyde was something special that has grown in significance to me over the months since his visit.

2. Surfing's infiltration into your soul. Something about surfing truly seeps into your every breath and thoughts of surfing are never far apart. I think it's partly due to the way that surfing gives you a beautiful integration into nature, this North Devon coastline, wherever you are: it's all about immersion, joy, design and environment.

3. The boards. I knew there were different board shapes - that much is clear from spending ten seconds in a surf shop. However, as you get into it - the variety of shapes, materials and construction methods; the origins and traditions; the love put into their construction is all fantastic and overwhelming. The 'child in a sweet shop' metaphor is unavoidable. (And then comes the betrayal: in finding out that most of these fabrications are not good from an environmental point-of-view.) I already long to get better and one day surf a Simmons shape, a Skip Frye long fish, an Aviso, an Alaia, a Wegener, a 9'1 McTavish Fireball, a Glass Tiger wooden beauty and the list only gets longer...

4. The social aspect. Some days in the water have had me feeling like a housewife nattering away over the garden fence. I have met some nice people in the water, and also skulking around on dry land for that matter.

5. Surfing's popluarity. I didn't know it could be so busy in the water! When I started this blog the main idea was the novelty of starting it the day I bought my first board and seeing where this would lead. I also thought it would be nice to encourage more people to start surfing. The second point doesn't seem to be a particularly good idea anymore! As Alan Weisbecker put it (roughly): surfing should be a secret that you let certain friends in on, now and again.


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