Today was the day. For years I’ve been listening to the Planet Smashers singing about surfing in Tofino. So now I’m finally here, I just have to try it. It was an awful day! In the morning it started pouring, so what better to do than getting wet?
The moment I squeezed into my wetsuit I started sweating. A bit nervously we were waiting for the instructors to show up. Should I bring my camera? Should I leave it behind? Luckily the mood got a bit lighter in the car. We got off at North Chesterman beach and one of our instructors checked out the waves. The conditions were approved so we carried our boards onto the beach.
First there was a bit of technical information and we were shown what we were supposed to do. After a practise run on the dry, we got straight into the water. Surprisingly I didn’t feel cold at all. We were so lucky to have two instructors, because we basically had a one on one lesson. The instructors would hold our boards with us on it and tell when to paddle. After you felt the wave, you had to paddle four more times before you could stand up, or try to anyway.
After a few tries I actually stood up. I couldn’t believe it! It was amazing to be in the water, the waves hitting you, the rain from above, riding the waves. The bigger waves were really exciting, taking you to the beach quite fast. I try to slide my knees forward, and then the hardest part is getting one foot to the front. Most of the time I stood up with one hand still on my board, giving me a series of photos where I appear to be doing yoga poses.
The instructors saw it was going well, so they let me catch my own waves more and more. It was quite tricky to judge them, so I basically just started paddling well ahead and as soon as I felt it, started counting. Four! Time to get up! It was hilarious and exciting and exhausting all in one. Every time you had to walk back into the sea, trying to hold on to your board, diving and jumping through the waves that were getting bigger and bigger.
Our instructors also doubled as cameramen, so we have some proof and souvenirs. They always managed to capture us in the worst, most awkward looking moments, but thankfully also got some good moves. I never thought I’d enjoy surfing as much as I did. I am keen to try this again some time. Tofino, you are amazing!