What I learnt when I was supposed to be learning how to surf
Chapter 3: Patience
“Vivek. How do you know which is a good spot to surf? Like where should we be waiting, and how deep in the water?”
“Sam, look out there. In the waves. See how they are coming in a pattern? Those are called sets. Those are the waves that we want to ride. So just keep looking out towards the ocean. Can you see the swells coming towards us? … See there’s one set right there.
Once you see that, just see where it breaks, where you see all the white foam. That’s where the wave has the most power, and that’s where we want to be waiting to catch the waves. You look confused…
Don’t worry Sam, just give it some time. You’ll get the hang of it.”
“Vivek, when we’re in the water, I don’t really know how to judge which wave to try to ride, and which ones to avoid. What should I do?”
“Sam, you have to try to see how good waves look when they’re deep in the sea, and then slowly get the hang of that. And don’t worry if you miss a few good waves, or if you try to ride some bad ones. It’s all a part of the experience.
When you see a wave, just take a call and stick with it. If you make the right call, you get to ride a killer wave, if you make a wrong call, you get to learn something new.
Don’t worry Sam, just get your reps in. You’ll get the hang of it.”
“Vivek, I’m getting the hang of reading the waves, but once it comes to catching it, I don’t know when I should pop up, and I keep messing up…”
“Sam, you need to get a feel for the wave. As the power comes and gives a push to your board, that’s the right time to pop up. So just be patient on your board. You’ll learn to sense the push of the wave, and then you’ll be able to pop up at the right time.
Don’t worry Sam, just keep trying. You’ll get the hang of it.”
“Sam, I am struggling to get balance on the board. You seem to be able to do it quite easily… What do you think is going wrong?”
“Aruna, honestly, there is a lot of stuff to learn. There are better people here who can teach you all of those things. But honestly, if there is one thing that is wrong, it’s that you just haven’t surfed enough.
So just stay in the water and keep trying. You’ll get the hang of it.”
When things aren’t going as you’d like, don’t worry. Just focus on your efforts, and have patience. You will get the hang of it.