Snapshot 4 (1-3-2015 10-32 PM)

We just got back from a trip over to Jacksonville to visit Ted’s family and there have been reports that the surf was going to be on today.  Between my new board and the booties my dad and stepmom gave me for Christmas, I was ready.

When we got to the beach, I saw a lineup unlike any that I’ve seen before.  There were probably 30 guys in the water, many of whom were doing some seriously impressive “shredding.”  This refers to the cuts that shortboarders make back and forth across a wave but there has to be enough wave in order to pull this off.

Today, there was definitely that.
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Oh what a MAGICAL time of year!!!  My first Christmas as a surfer has been full of all sorts of sugarplum fairies (only these fairies were wearing board shorts) and it began on the 23rd when I arrived at Ted’s for our Christmas dinner.

I had just come from getting my fourth-ever pedicure (seriously, why pay for those when you can do them yourself…without the risk of a weird bacterial infection from the foot tubs) and went to set down my bag.

When I walked by the wall where he mounts his snowboard, I immediately noticed something different all together: a surfboard with decorations shaped like giant Christmas lights hanging from it!
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Snapshot 1 (11-26-2011 9-37 AM)

What a day to give thanks!  It’s unseasonably warm for late November and the sky was the deepest, clearest blue today that you could ask for.  The water temp is now somewhere in the mid-70s, so it was perfect for our new wetsuits.

Ted’s daughter came in town for the holiday and our family dinner at my parent’s didn’t start until 3:00.  That gave us plenty of time for a morning session before we needed to get in the kitchen to prepare our dishes.  So we loaded up our boards and drove down to the state park.
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I made it half-way through the fall without a wetsuit, and if it were left up to me, Thrifty Thelma, I’d see if I could push it to Christmas.

However, as the weeks went by, Ted noticed that I was shivering more and more during our sessions so to the surf shop we went.
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This waterproof video camera is CRAZY cool!  We’ve used it quite a bit in the last month and Ted has put together a little montage of my surfing. 

It’s super melodramatic – you gotta do something to spice it up when the surfing isn’t exactly a Wow Fest – and he went for a Spike Lee thing with his entry.

The first couple of frames are from my cracked rib incident, and the rest are from the weeks that proceeded. You can see, I’m still trying to figure out where to be on the wave (as I’m riding a lot of whitewater).

When he was looking for a good song to use for the soundtrack, I think he was inspired by my Irish dancer-esque dismounts (you’ll see what I mean).  Some people think river dance when they hear this kind of music.  Ted, evidently, thinks surf video.


Today was my first time out by myself – Yep, my training wheels are no more!  Ted wasn’t able to go with me but the waves were too pretty to pass up, so I borrowed his Fj and took my board down to the beach.

It was just past 7am when I got there, and the waves were cleanly shaped 2-footers, perfect now that I can catch my own waves.
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I did it!!  I FINALLY did it!!  I caught my own wave and I am BESIDE myself with glee.

The ride itself is a blur because I was just so slap happy when it was happening.  I guess it was a good ride but the whole time I was in disbelief that I finally got in front of a wave – under my own paddle power – and rode it into shore.
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Ok.  I give.  Even a strong-willed girl like me will eventually figure out when to throw in the towel.  Maybe it’s not in the cards for me to catch my own waves on this trip.  After all, I’ve only been surfing a month now and as I’ve been told a few times before, I may need to do a little expectation management.

So I decided to use today’s session, the last one of the trip, to practice my duck dive.  This is the way that surfers push themselves and their boards under an oncoming wave while paddling out to the lineup.

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