Once a month, Pomegranite leaves the office for a morning or afternoon, and spends some time out in the world, talking about the business, coming up with new ideas, and just having fun, doing something we will remember with more clarity than answering emails and drawing up invoices.
For our March inspiration day, we decided to visit one of my favourite places in Cape Town, Muizenberg Beach. Liz, who grew up in Durban and hence knows how to surf (the two are synonymous aren’t they?) agreed to teach me the art. Let me just say that I am the biggest Vaalie. Having lived in Cape Town for nearly a year and a half, I still get SO excited when I see the sea and feel the sand between my toes. So, when Liz suggested the surfing idea, let’s just say that I was on board (Yip. That just happened).
If you know me at all, you will know that I am something of a perfectionist, and I am unlikely to quit anything until I get it right. Surfing was no different.
So, from my (vast) experience, here are 10 things every beginner surfer needs to know:
1) Trying to carry a surfboard in the wind is bloody difficult. Have you ever watched someone trying to bath a cat? Ja – it’s kind of like that. Just harder. Top tip: let your business partner carry it. She loves it. And you’re a novice, remember? Do not be afraid to play that card.
2) Set aside a good hour to put your wetsuit on. It’s an acquired skill apparently.
3) Don’t skip the embarrassing “lesson on the sand” part. People have come to the beach primarily to people watch. Do not deprive them of some quality entertainment.
4) You will feel like a child initially. A special needs child. Embrace it. Everyone needs to feel ridiculous from time to time.
5) It is likely that your “teacher” will speak to you in a soothing voice you’ve once heard her use while babysitting a screaming child. She will tell you that you are doing “soooooo well!” And she’s right. Obviously. That nine year old kid has nothing on you.
6) Make sure your wetsuit is the right size. The guy at the surf shop underestimated my height a bit, so I kind of felt like my wetsuit was trying (and succeeding) to choke me the whole time. Not ideal.
7) You will get a lot of sea water up your nose, which is ever so slightly unpleasant. Ever so slightly. On the plus side, no blocked sinus issues for what I can only assume will be the rest of your life.
8) Don’t be afraid to just kneel on the board in the beginning. People may tell you to “stand up, dammit!” But what do they know? You’ve got some moves. They’re just jealous of your lunge.
9) Make sure that you yell loudly at people in your way as you cruise into shore at break-neck speed. They need enough time to throw themselves out of your way. Be considerate.
10) It’s not the most comfortable experience you’ll ever have. But that feeling of riding that final wave right into shore, casually hopping off and
dancing a wild victory dance glancing nonchalantly at your “teacher” as she cheers you on… It’s pretty damn amazing.