“an observation: nothing beats the stoke of a beginner. the things you do as a you progress are just attempts to replicate that first stoke – only that you are doing better maneuvers.”
– and I totally agree! I’m always stoked after surfing, but nothing beats that stoke when I first stood up with my instructor pushing me… the first time I paddled and surfed with a guide just coaching me… and the first time I caught a wave without a guide at all…. Even the first time I successfully turned and had gotten a long ride! Everytime I do something new, something I never thought I’d be able to do at that moment, I get that same first stoke!
Last weekend I brought my friend, Bryce, to La Union where he learned how to surf for the first time. Bryce’s goal for the weekend was to conquer his FEAR: The sea!!! And he did an awesome job. We surfed in Bacnotan over the whole weekend because waves were just too strong in Urbiztondo. Bacnotan had small gentle waves for beginners so it was perfect! By the third day, Bryce was already surfing on his own (with his awesome guide, Nano).
I was so proud (like how a surf mommy is proud of her surf baby :P) because it took me 2 years before I gathered up enough courage to conquer my fears and to paddle and surf on my own (i.e. without my el paborito instructor Tisoy who who would do anything including tow me using his leash just to get out to the lineup and would make sure I caught every good wave by pushing me when my paddling seemed insufficient — which was 90% of the time). In fact, up until this weekend, I never paddled out without Tisoy. I guess it was a blessing in disguise that he was competing in Rimat Ti Amianan that weekend so I had to paddle out and reach the lineup by myself!
One thing I’ve learned over the years I guess is that it’s OK to be afraid. Courage is not being unafraid, but instead, accepting your fears and still being in action. As long as I don’t let my fear cripple me, I can do it, eventually, with practice & perseverance. No one was born a pro. :D