My husband is from Durban, South Africa and has always loved surfing. In fact, the amount of times we've talked about pro surfers like Kelly Slater or John John Florence makes me forget that I don't actually know either of these people. So when I had the opportunity to spend some time in Jon's home town in August, I immediately thought that this would be a fantastic time to learn to surf. Clearly I would be a natural.
Watched multiple professional surf competitions? Check.
Have a surfer husband? Check.
Bought a sweet board and cool winter wetsuit? Check! check!!
And then reality hit in the form of giant-ass waves crashing down on me. I suddenly gained new understanding of the Mindy Project ep when Danny states, 'I fear the ocean out of respect.'
However, I was lucky enough to make friends with a stylish Ozzy surfer lady named Lani, at a wedding in England we attended over the summer. Lani is the type of woman the world needs more of, a "no nonsense, I can do it if I decide I can" type of person. Dedicating a year to learning to surf, she endured countless near-drowings and reef-bashings to do just that. Now when her boyfriend's mates go surfing, she is invited first, and she holds her own.
So with Lani in mind, I decided it was time to suck it up, buttercup. It wasn't pretty but sometimes you have to embrace the suck to find the fun. Sometimes that means drinking many litres of ocean water and sometimes that means having your surf board ride you. But like many things, if you stick with it you find the sweet spot. And you also have some sweet lolz, like that time a surfer came out the water and promised me "if you stick with it, eventually it feels less like drowning".
I'm not going to lie. I did not become awesome at surfing in the few weeks I had in Durban. However I did catch a few waves. And if only for a 10 second moment in time, I felt like Kelly & John John were giving me mad props from the beach.