Catch a Wave


Recently, I surfed. I had only surfed once in my life before. It was many, many years ago and I stood atop the board wearing a white laboratory coat, large glasses and buck teeth. That’s a long story.

This time I spent a good two hours riding something more akin to swells than waves into a protected harbour on the island of Maui.

If you’ve never really surfed, the entire aim of the initial encounter with the board (which is about the size of an aircraft carrier deck)  is to stand. That’s it. If you stand, you have succeeded. People who are able to carve their wave down the face of monstrous,thundering waves have clearly been born to the surfboard. These are other creatures entirely.

So I stood. I stood successfully. And that’s all I was seeking from the two hour lesson. Surfing seems to be somewhat akin to golf , in that if you concentrate too much on critical movement and the precise placement of various body parts you will basically paralyze yourself. You will lock up. After I managed to paddle out, find the wave, crouch on my knees and then rise to my feet, the board took me wherever wind and wave determined. I had no expectation of control. I was just thrilled to be vertical.

On another island, at another time, I once tried my hand at windsurfing. I considered myself to be  a pretty good sailor and I regarded the windsurfer as an easily managed single sail watercraft. This was a gross underestimation and, as a result, I spent about two hours repeatedly falling off the windsurfer in front of a waterfront patio packed with amused diners. Did they care that I was close to drowning? Not really. Pass the sangria.

So I know now not to take a sense of balance for granted. I listened carefully to the surfing instructor and I followed every step to the letter.

And I stood.

Dammit…I stood!


4 Responses to “Catch a Wave”

  1. Great job on learning to surf. I am just glad you are back safe and sound to infuse your dry wit on the morning show.

  2. Kathy Schrader Says:

    Well done sir…now back to the news desk and deliver; because the folks at my house missed you. It was good to see you this morning.

  3. Good For you! I love the comment you made this week about forgetting how short the diving board is on the show… you traded one board in for the other! LOL Nice to have you back 🙂

  4. Way to go Dave!! What a thrill that must have been. Never done it myself and not sure if I would have the stamina for it. You sure did get a nice tan while you were in Maui. Glad you’re back. Thought for a while there you had quit. Don’t remember you mentioning anything about a vacation beforehand. Had me worried!

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