Mastering the Pop-up: day 2

First, I’ve learned that if one turns on the AC it provides a nice hum just right for sleeping. Second, a day at Chicabrava feels like two days anywhere else.

Today started with a wonderful breakfast of fruit, beans and rice, and eggs with scallions then it was time to hit the waves. We loaded up our newly assigned surf boards (mine is white with blue racing stripes) and drove to Playa Remanso. There, I worked one on one with Elsie my amazing instructor who taught me to pop up like a champ and keep my trasero (butt) in. I rode a few green waves and had a blast.

The swells were pretty big at Playa Remanso so they taught us how to do a “turtle roll.” Basically I would size up a wave: 1) holy shit that’s big 2) maybe I could catch that 3) the ones that my instructor actually let me try. If it was number 1 or 2, I’d grab the end of my board by the edges (or rails in surfer lingo) and roll it over my my body while taking a deep breath going under and letting the wave crash over the board that shielded me while I was underneath. Since the number 1 and 2 waves were breaking in sets if 3-6, I did a lot of turtle rolls. By the end of the morning, I felt pretty beat up in addition to being really happy.

After awesome fish tacos and a nap, the second half of the day was a trip to Playa Madera where our instructors showed us what experienced surfers could do. They played on their short boards maneuvering down and across the waves and through the barrel of the wave. Denise said it sounded like the inside of a conch shell in there. I took a great walk with a fellow surf student and discovered that we could see Costa Rica. Then we all dried off and watched the sun slip beyond the horizon. After sunset, the clouds were brushed lines of white and orange across the deep blue sky.

I hurt in places you wouldn’t expect: the middle of my chest where my bikini top cut in a bit, the inside if one toe where I kept curling it into the board to pop up, the bruises on the insides of my knees where I banged them hopping up into the board, the fat lip I got when the wind sent the board into my face. Still, I’m smiling.

We are discouraged from taking phones and cameras with us for safety reasons, but I’ll be purchasing a DVD with photos and videos of my week. I hope to post some in the near future. Tomorrow, I see today’s video. My ego hopes I’m surfing well.

More tomorrow.

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