Monday, January 14, 2008

Surfing Adventures...

I find it is always good to try something new.... I think it is good to have a few challanges that make make you feel alive.... don't get me wrong- lots of things are scary.... that is until you try them.... and sometimes I find... they turn out to be super fun... plus- you never know who you meet along the way..... I love surfing.... but you know- it's one step at a time....or one wave..... but it's all good.... happy reading! Let me know your thoughts!

It’s true. I woke up one morning in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, a land locked state, and decided I wanted to learn how to surf. Perhaps it was the summers I spent as a kid on the beach in Tel-Aviv- swimming for hours in the warm water… or maybe it was wandering around Australia and New Zealand for a few months and absorbing the surf culture and watching people ride the waves.

I immediately called a friend, who lives blocks away from the beach in San Diego. Within moments, I arranged a place to stay and had a plane ticket in hand. I needed to prepare mentally and physically; I swam a half a mile every other day and before going to sleep I imagined myself surfing. Growing up I was a figure skater, and visualization is always helpful.

The big surf day arrived. A friend from graduate school, Nancy, came with me to be my cheerleader and watch my first attempts. I walked into the Surf Shop and found the least attractive surf instructor, yes the least attractive, simply because I wanted to learn how to surf and not be distracted. Another friend, Zar, laughed and said, “You’re too intense and focused to be a surfer.” But my theory worked. I was able to focus on his words and on the waves.

Whenever I try something new, I’m excited but nervous. My main concern was the water temperature, would it be really cold? Would a wet suit keep me from turning blue and freezing?

The lesson started with a brief history of surfing and a discussion of surf etiquette. We walked to the beach, where I learned how to carry my surfboard; balancing it on my head. Then for twenty minutes, I practiced on the sand learning how to stand up on the board.

“Hmm, not bad, not as cold as it looks,” I thought as the grey-blue water touched my toes. Once we were in deep enough water, my instructor helped me turn the board around. I saw Nancy watching from the shore. She waved and cheered me on. Within five tries, I was up on my board standing, if only for a brief few seconds, it was exhilarating.

My instructor yelled out when to stand up. After a few more tries I was solidly up standing, and more importantly I understood the feeling. I was hooked. By the end of the session, I was talking to myself out loud—telling myself when to get up and how to stand. Luckily, the waves drown out my words and no one could hear me talking to myself.

A new passion set in. The next day I took another lesson. The third day, I braved the waves on my own, except I had made some new surfing friends, also first timers. It was a little scary being without a teacher. But I managed fine. There’s a timing with waves to know when to stand up and how to maneuver on the board. Understanding the rhythm of the water and how to work with it, is the only way to succeed on a surfboard.

A few weeks later, I roped two of my girlfriends in Los Angeles into going to the beach with me…Little did they know they would be schlepping me to surf shops in Manhattan beach as well as to Malibu with 8 foot long boards hanging out of their car.

Catching a wave is addicting, it’s like harnessing the wind and flying over the water. Don’t get me wrong, for all the waves I caught, there were lots of nose plants in the water, it wasn’t always magic.

A few weeks later, I flew to Israel, most people would be excited to visit historical sites, but, I couldn’t wait to find a surf-shop. Upon my arrival, the Tel-Aviv beach claimed the world’s flattest water. I swear I had entered a wave free zone. No matter, I waited it out and swam daily until finally the waves arrived. I immediately headed to the surf shop.

The guy who owns the shop was the surf champion of Israel. He helped me find a board, and his brother was on his way to the beach so he invited me to go catch some waves with him.

I lathered on the sunscreen, no wetsuit needed, the water was warm. I sat on my board staring into the endless ocean. As a wave approached, I got ready. I noticed my fellow surfers. We were all united with the same goal, the same dream. We were all in search of the perfect wave.

Masada Siegel, otherwise known as Fun Girl Correspondent is a freelance writer in Scottsdale, Arizona and can be reached at

Newbie Blogger

Another sunny gorgeous day here in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I have lots to say.... and am just starting out with this whole blog biz.... so any advice on how to muddle my way thru- and spread the word of fun..... well you would make my day- and in turn- I plan on sharing my fun adventures.....

So here goes- wish me luck..... and I promise.... I will tell you more.... about my world, and about trying new things.... like learning to surf, skydiving, interviewing famous people and how silly some of them can be....

Because you see.... I interview and I write.... and here might just be a place to tell you what I think......

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