Catching Waves Requires Surfing Courage


Teaching Surf Lessons in Oceanside I find the surfing experience is much different than people expected. It is more physically strenuous, technical, and scary than most people imagined. Catching foam waves for beginners BigWaves4does not require much courage and most beginners warm up to it quickly. In fact, even those that can’t do pop ups get a real thrill out of catching foam waves.

Moving to real waves is a brand new adventure. This is where control is not as easy and where it is easier to fore see getting hurt. Pearling riding down the face of a wave is a violent event. You can really smack the water hard. Getting rolled over and pushed to the bottom is really getting worked. Even though you survive and laugh it off, it creates indelible memories.

Now the waves at Oceanside are being lifted by the morning offshore wind. They tend to stand up taller which makes them easier to catch. You have to get in front of the lip and then pop up quickly to get a ride down the face. Waves are different each time. The possibilities are a good ride or a crash.

Some waves are open and some are close outs. The close outs crash on top of the surfer or take him down with it. Most experienced surfers can feel the close out. But sometimes you are not sure and you have to risk it. Everyone would like to have all perfect rides and never get crushed, but that is difficult to achieve.

As you watch surfers in the line up, you will see some catch a lot of waves and often with the lip over their head and the wave already breaking when they begin their pop up. Others chase the waves as they apex and often back out instead of getting in front where they could catch them.

It is a small margin, but when you know what it is like in the water, you can spot the difference between those that are catching the waves and those who want to stay safe. Sometimes it is an acknowledgement of their personal skills and sometimes it is the pact they created before they entered the water that they don’t want to get hurt.

I clearly recognize the difference and have to make my own pact when I enter the water. Some days I want to charge and get in front of the biggest waves. Some days I am not as into it and I let waves go by. Pros experience the same thing. In a Pipeline contest a few years ago, the pros said most of the day they were terrified. A lot of waves went unridden.

You can make your decision when you get into the water.


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