My friend left the country and was selling his barely used, 7'4" surfboard for $100. I live in San Diego and love the ocean. The purchase was a no-brainer.
I have no idea when I'm going to learn to surf. I bought the board and set it on the balcony for my "off-season cross-training" sport. Whenver that is. I have been so sore and tired lately, I couldn't even think about another sport. Afterall, poor Rocky (mountain bike) has been neglected in the 2nd bathroom for months.
A friend from work informed me Monday that we were going surfing on Wednesday. I weakly protested. I don't know how. I need lessons. I'm too busy. I'm too tired. But he asked, "You just got this new surfboard. Aren't you itching to get out there and try it? Or are you just going to let it sit on your balcony all winter?" He had a point. Deep down, I felt the itch. And I agreed. This was all happening way too fast for me! I needed time for this new relationship (with the surfboard) to develop! Can't we just slow down a little?
Wednesday afternoon, he points out I need a rashguard to prevent chafing. WTF? This is becoming complicated! We headed down to La Jolla Shores, and I stopped at a surf shop to pick one up. The guy at the store pointed out that the water temp was dropping fast, and they had a sale on wetsuits. Sigh. He had a point. I tried some on. The one that fit was $100. Again, a no-brainer. By the time I parked, I had a rashguard, a surfboard and a surfing wetsuit--and I hadn't even gotten in the water!
Having been warned about the precipitously dropping water temps, I dipped a toe in, expecting to run for my wetsuit. Surprisingly, it wasn't bad. We took our boards out and stayed in the baby waves. Luckily, my friend is a lousy surfer so I didn't feel totally intimidated.
It was an extreme low tide, the water was rough, and the waves were not breaking well. I had a really hard time getting the board over the waves, I couldn't stand up worth a damn, I swallowed a ton of water, and I wiped out a bunch of times. It didn't matter. It was wicked fun! What can I say? I'm a California girl. You can't keep me out of the ocean. I take a lickin', and I come back for more. I can't wait to go and try it again!
As we were heading back, we both noticed that we were stepping on slimy, squishy, moving things with every step. I religiously starting practicing the stingray shuffle but it didn't seem to help. Well, I kept stepping on squishy things anyhow. Everytime I did, I let out a squeal and tried to climb on my board. I really hate stepping on things I can't see! I figured they were some sort of fish. If they had been sting rays, I would have been stung by now, right? Afterall, I had stepped on 20 of them! My friend yelled, "Ouch. One bit me!" Seconds later, we realized it was a sting ray that had stung him, and all the squishy, slimy things were sting rays. The beach was covered with them. And they were frisky. Jason later called me the "sting ray whisperer" since I stepped on so many and didn't get stung. They're not aggressive. I think if you glance the side of them or shuffle into them, they just swim off (hence, the sting ray shuffle does work). However, if you step directly on one and pin it, Bam!
My friend hobbled over to the lifeguard station where 8 other victims were all sitting with their feet in buckets of scalding hot water, exchanging horror stories. It was actually pretty entertaining for me. Not so much for my friend. Luckily, he didn't get hit that badly since he's walking limp-free today. He's going to live.
Afterwards, I gorged myself with food and went to bed. Must have been the cold water but I couldn't believe how starving and exhausted I was. I slept like a baby. I have many strange bruises today from where I wiped out, I guess. Plus, I'm totally trashed! It was hard doing weights this morning. I can't believe how sore my biceps, chest and triceps are. Surfing is a really good workout! Can't wait to take the board out again. Now he/she just needs a name. Girl or boy? Suggestions?