Tag Archives: stand up paddle boarding

Sometimes the Magic Doesn’t Work

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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.

Well.

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.