First Surfing Lesson

My first surfing lesson ~

You’d think that growing up in California with easy access to the beach I would have learned to surf by now. Yeah, I’m 61. Never got around to it.

In junior high and high school, my friends and I went to the beach several times a week, even though we all had summer jobs back then.  

We actually swam out between waves, dove through them before they crested until we found the right time and wave, turned back toward the beach and rode them in until we hit sand.  Or ate sand.  

No boards, no neoprene suits.    Just us and the waves.

There weren’t many surfers at the beaches we went to, so it never occurred to us to learn to surf on a surfboard.

So on our trip to South Padre Island, TX in 2019,  I decided I was finally going to learn to surf. 

South Padre Surf Co. is a family-owned business and a family of surfers.  They “welcome anyone, regardless of age, physical ability or disability”.  

Sounded like a good fit for someone who’s – oh, let’s call it a bit chunky and not in the best physical shape.  They were wonderful, great instructors.  Low key, no judgement – perfect.  They want you to enjoy learning and to be safe while doing so.

I'll bet the dog can surf...

Since I wasn’t capable of getting up from a laying down position on the board, my instructor taught me how to kneel on the board and then stand.   She also held the board for me while we were out in the waves so that I could kneel on it and get up from there. 

The weather when we got to South Padre was cloudy, cool, and the ocean was definitely still in winter mode.  Lots of waves.  They break every five seconds here.  Very different from what I was used to in California, which was more like every 15 seconds.  It was definitely a workout just getting far enough out to get on the surfboard.  And, as you can see, it turned out to be quite a foggy day.

I fell a lot, swallowed some sea water and ate a little sand, but I finally got up and rode a wave for a bit – and then slid backwards off the board!     BUT I DID IT!    I WAS UP AND SURFING!   Woohoo!   I had to take a few breaks in between tries, but I was able to get up once more before I fell off sideways and decided I was done.

Will I try surfing again?  Heck, yeah!   Just not in Texas.   I need more time between waves.   And more exercise.   But I’m thrilled that I finally just took the leap and took a lesson!

Do you have something that you’ve always wanted to learn or do but never got around to?   Or that you finally learned or did and loved it?   I’d love to hear your stories!  Please post them in the comments below.

As always, sending good vibes your way!


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