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Monday, November 28, 2011

Surfing in the Rockaways

You know that giddy feeling you get when you fall in love with something new - a book that you can't put down, a new pair of shoes, an amazing new running route, a new food that makes your taste buds tingle - and you can't wait to experience it again? That was the feeling that I couldn't shake when we returned home from Costa Rica. I knew that surfing in New York City wouldn't exactly be the same thing but I was anxious to see what it was all about. I knew that there was a growing surfing community in NYC. Several of my friends and neighbors even surfed.

Birthday surf with a huge red board!
The first time Ed and I went out to the Rockaways was on my birthday in June. Since we weren't familiar with the beach, break or anything really, we decided to take a lesson from the local surf school. It was more of a chance to get our feet wet and to become familiar with the surf conditions. It was a wee bit different than what we were used to. For one, the water was cold! I hadn't fully appreciated the luxury of surfing in just a bikini and rash guard.

The next time we went out by ourselves and I felt like I was the new kid on the playground. In Costa Rica, it was like we were in this nice, little protected bubble. Everyone was friendly out in the water and looking out for each other, hooting and hollering every time anyone caught a wave. Now, I didn't have the comfort of my surf coaches flanking me, showing me the ropes, helping me figure out which waves to go for and which ones to pull back on (and sometimes literally pulling me back by my leash), and making sure I didn't drop in on anyone.


Paddling out into the line-up the first time was probably one of the most intimidating things I've done. Thank goodness the line-up only consisted of two or three other people. But still, I had to watch and observe the rules and culture of this new "playground." When it was finally my turn to paddle for a wave, I didn't want to be that kid who face plants off the monkey bars. I wanted to show the world that I could hold my own, catch a wave, stand up and ride it somewhere - anywhere! Needless to say, that just meant more nervous and anxious energy for me, resulting in lots of fun nose dives. Yes.

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2 Comments:

At April 11, 2012 at 10:42 PM , OpenID lenaonthebeach said...

Thank you so much for reminding me how good I had it while I was living in Rockaway. I'll never forget how scared I was the first time I paddled out there too. But that absolutely ended up being one of the greatest times of my life.

I'm excited to keep reading about your adventures!

 
At April 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM , Blogger Christine said...

I'm so glad! Thanks so much for visiting. I do feel pretty lucky to live close to Rockaway. It is intimidating at first, as I think it is whenever you are at a new break, but after being out there a few times now, I find that people are super nice.

 

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