Sometimes the Magic Doesn’t Work


In preparation for the big, snowy winter approaching, John and I decided to sneak away to Maui for the weekend. We found a screaming deal on Hawaiian Air and spent a relaxing, warm few days in the sun and surf.

As we stood on the beach with our beginner surfboards, John figured that, as skiers, surfing should be easy. And when he caught his first wave, riding it all the way into the beach, pumping a triumphant fist into the air, I thought I’d have the same success. I mean, after all, I’m an athlete. I can balance. And John did make it look so easy.


As you can see here, I struggled a bit. The board kept diving into the trough of the wave, sending me on some spectacular, feet-up falls into the surf. It must have been fun to watch from shore. And afterwards, my nasal passages were certainly clear. But I won’t be joining the pro circuit anytime soon. In the end, I rode a few waves to shore, stepping off onto the sand and grabbing my board just before the backwash took hold of it and used it as a club on my head. I was getting the hang of it.

But the tables really turned when we tried stand-up paddle boarding, which, according to one waitress, is the fastest growing sport in the country. Who knew? I mean, I’d seen lone surfers, serenely paddling along the lake, but the fastest growing sport? What was the appeal? For one thing, it’s not easy. Unless you look straight ahead, your legs becoming part of the board, your hips absorbing the wavy chop, you will fall. But after a few wobbly moments, I got the hang of it. I even rode the behemoth into the shore, weaving through the big waves and stepping off, almost, on the dry sand.

Just like anything else, smooth water and a few pointers make the going a little easier.

6 responses »

  1. Hey Kim,

    If it makes you feel better, Kim, my husband and I spent last winter learning to surf on Kaua’i, and both of us are pretty decent athletes. Surfing is HARD. One of *the* hardest sports I’ve ever experienced—with a looooong learning curve. (I wrote many a post on all the lessons I learned through my challenges surfing.) 🙂

    And SUP is definitely taking off… I first heard of it on Kaua’i and now I see it everywhere—even saw a truck here in CO with a couple of SUPs on the roof. It’s a fabulous sport (one I can’t wait to try in Tahoe next year).

    • Amy,
      I know what you mean about the paddle boards. It’s like getting a new car–the moment you drive it off the lot, you see others like it everywhere. Now I’m seeing more paddle boards in Seattle than kayaks.

  2. You should definitely check out my neck of the woods – Nelson/Rossland in BC – which boasts some great skiing at ‘Whitewater’ and “Big Red’. You have a great writing style and I look forward to reading more. Great to connect with you on ‘She Writes’.

You people are amazing. Thanks for commenting.

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