Remember Your First Surfing Lessons?

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Travis surfing costa ricaAlmost everyone remembers his or her first surfing lesson, or surfing experience. Mine took place on the beaches of Silver Strand, in Coronado, California. Every summer my family, along with some very close family friends, would visit the Silver Strand for weeks on end, using their motor home as a temporary beach house. Our daily schedule for those two weeks went something like this:

  • Early morning boogie board session from 6 am to 8 am.
  • Breakfast: Eggs and sausage
  • Boogie board session from 9am to 12 noon.
  • Lunch: Mac and cheese
  • Quick 15 minute nap to help digest lunch.
  • Boogie board session from 1:15 pm until sunset.
  • Dinner: Tacos
  • Sleep from 9 pm until 6 am.

I used to log almost 8 hours of ocean time per day during those two weeks. During those 8 hours I probably caught 80 waves; 10 waves per hour, 1 wave every six minutes. I wish I still had that energy!

Surfing A Morey Boogie Board

With fins on my feet, catching waves with my morey boogie board was a piece of cake. Riding waves on my stomach was such a breeze that I started to surf the boogie on my knees. After mastering the knee surfing, I started experimenting with tricks, like the 360. It wasn’t until a good friend took off his fins, stood up for 3 seconds on his boogie board, and surfed the waves, that I came to the conclusion, I was going to surf my morey boogie board! Later that day, feet free of fins, I started testing my surfing skills, only to find out that surfing wasn’t as easy as it appeared.

From Boogie Board To Surfboard

After many summers of surfing my morey boogie board the day came when I was granted the opportunity to try a surfboard. The board was a single fin, 9 foot Gordon & Smith, with red rails, a true beauty. My friend’s older cousin, who at the time was a ripper on the local surf scene, gave us a quick 15-minute talk about surfing basics. Afterwards, we sat and observed wave conditions and fifteen minutes later, we finally took our first steps forward toward the ocean shore. Once we were waist deep, I was instructed to lay-down comfortably, find my center balance, and put my hands near my shoulders, similar to the position of someone about to do a push-up. The hard fiberglass surface of the board felt hard against my juvenile ribs and I preferred the soft spongy feel of the boogie. Slowly we proceeded to enter deeper waters and almost spontaneously my surf instructor turned me around and pushed me into my first wave. With cat-like reflex’s, I leaped to my feet and was surfing my first wave. From that moment on I was hooked and never went back to surfing my morey boogie board.

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About the author


Travis is a head surf instructor and social entrepreneur at Bodhi Surf + Yoga. When Travis is not at the beach getting guests stoked on surfing, he is probably at a community meeting, on a Skype call, or spending time with his lovely daughters, Maya and Clea!

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