It has been a few years since I almost decapitated myself and received forty stitches to put my upper lip back together surfing in Malibu. But strange as it may seem, I was eager to try it again. We were in the surf capital of Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur visiting with my childhood friend, Sean and his parents. I figured this was the best place to put the past behind me and jump back on the waves.
There were five of us on this excursion; myself, Helen, Sean, his daughter Vega and her B.F., Tabor. We bumped down a dirt road that ended at a picturesque beach tucked into a small bay bordered by palm trees. There were two small open air beach shack cafes that sold beer and food and rented surfboards. They were just as you would imagine, thatched roof, hammocks, laid-back teenage bartender and Reggae playing over the dated sound system. They made the best grilled fish tacos we had all trip. This was our one beach day; we had the beach (& the bar) to ourselves. This place was perfect.
Sean and I got geared up and headed out into the water, thankfully the surf was small, as, turns out, I am a rubbish surfer. Even just waiting for the right waves to come in, I can barely even sit on the surfboard. As the perfect set rolls in, I fall off.
My paddling ‘technique’ to catch a wave was a frenzy; frantically flailing my arms, splashing about and basically going nowhere. Miraculously, somehow I would occasionally catch a wave, but standing up was a different matter. I would get to my feet, off-balance, and instantly tumble head-over-heels into the water.
It’s slightly embarrassing and somewhat surprising given I have spent years of my life snowboarding; it obviously doesn’t translate over. Even Vega and Tabor were able to stand on the surfboard longer than me and they are nine and ten years old.
Anyway, I don’t care I’m a crappy surfer; it was a great beach day hanging out with a good friend on empty foreign beaches. And best of all no injuries – I am just glad I’m still trying, even after my surfboard lobotomy!
(Pictures and stories from my Malibu surf accident: not for the squeamish. https://goneonholidaybymistake.com/category/americas/california-april-2011/)