Unlike Sunset Cliffs, when I learned to surf at Pacific Beach, San Diego, the small waves washed ashore on a sandy, smooth beach. Even in such a coddling environment, the whole experience felt very daring to me. I waded out to waist-deep water before hopping on my board and paddling out to catch a wave.
When I learned to surf, I thought that the waiting would be a bore. I thought I would get antsy and finally just catch any wave just to do something. But as it turned out, I and my fellow surf-class surfers had plenty to chat about as we waited, to the point that sometimes I hoped a good wave wouldn’t come so we could continue to lie on our boards, soaking in the sun, sharing stories, laughing, bonding.
But then a wave would come along and we all knew it was time. It took quite a few tries, but when I finally stood up on my board it was exhilarating…way better than sunning and socializing. Then, I understood.