I love to surf and I’m a mom~ This past Saturday I celebrated both by surfing in the Mayday Memorial Surf Classic…in Loving Memory of Dollie Sue Watson.
Haley Watson started this contest 4 years ago and last year added the ultra-cool Surfing Mom’s division. It makes total sense as the event takes place near Mother’s Day, is in honor of Haley’s mom and clearly none of us would be here if not for our mothers. It was a highlight in my day.
So now I’ll let you in on a little secret… Learning to surf is one of the hardest things I have ever done…ever.
I have been attempting to surf for over 25 years. When I was eleven I met this girl Lisa, she surfed (and still does:). I thought she was the coolest thing since flavored chapstick and wanted to surf too. I earned money by mowing my yard and bought Lisa sister’s old surfboard. It was a Bernie Crouch Mad Dog twin fin, which we nicknamed the canoe because it felt like a hundred pounds and I could barely wrap my arms around it. Best $100 bucks I ever spent. In the beginning the only way I could make it to the outside was by swimming, dragging my flailing surfboard behind me. But no matter how often I went over the falls, how many waves I took on the head, how many times I was rolled over and dragged along the sandbar wondering if I was ever going to catch another breath…I never wanted to stop. The feeling you get when you catch a wave is an entire body rush of endorphins and awesomeness and one wave makes all the difference.
And now for another secret…I am competitive and a fan of winning. I’m fairly athletic and quite fortunate that most things I attempt I can usually do well, within a reasonable amount of time and practice. Not.. so… with Surfing. Although I secretly wanted to compete, I’m pretty sure one more avenue of embarrassment was pretty unecessay and I never attempted it. The upside is that now after all these years, a half dozen surf trips, one triple overhead session (I never actually made it out to the outside but it was an awesome feeling to just try) I finally feel like my surfing is improving and I’m closing in on 40! I attribute it to paying more attention to what I’m doing and realizing that I am getting older…meaning if I don’t figure it out soon the road is only going uphill..
That said I was still pretty excited to showcase my improved surf skills on my new board (first one in nine years- thanks Jim!! @ A-1 Surf Shop.) The heat was not actually being judged but all the same my mentality to try my best was focused. And then I paddled out…and fell…then fell again…and again and again….oooh Man all my visions of swhacking the lip dying a slow death. To be fair I did catch one fun wave so it wasn’t a total fail and I had still had a genuine smile even with the snot bubbles frothing from my nose because of the stoke of just being out there with a bunch of cool moms. Just having the guts to paddle out deserves huge respect… It was a great and powerful 20 minutes!
Big High Fives to Haley for having a division for the moms, thanks to Flagler Fish Company for donating gift cards and thanks to Lance Carroll for carving the cool recycled wood trophies—I’ll add it to my treasures…
The only thing better is catching waves with my kiddos~ and maybe a glassy 4-6ft south swell.
So cheers to learning to surf- may the stoke be with you!
**Bonus** Haley won the Women’s Pro and donated her $200.00 check back to her charity bringing the total to $2500.00 raised for the cardiac center at Halifax Health. Not bad for a bunch of surfers:)
For all the contest results check here.