Surfing Experience

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This memoir is about my experience with surfing, and the impact it had on me. I talk about how I started, the different things I did, and how it made me who I am.

Submitted: November 28, 2012

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Submitted: November 28, 2012



Rylee Gould

November 29, 2012

Writing across the Curriculum

Piece #1 (Memoir)

It was summer of 2003 when I rode my very first wave. When I was given that opportunity to go out into the water to try and surf, there was nothing that sounded more exciting. I began walking in the water. By my side were my friend and her dad, and all I was thinking was how lucky I was to get this chance. Then we reached the spot we needed to be at to catch a wave. My friend and her dad were experienced surfers, but me on the other hand this was my first time. Her dad began taking turns pushing us into the waves. My friend went first and got right up, so I watch and observed her every move. Now it was my turn. I felt her dad beginning to push the back of the board, and into a wave. Next I felt the board catch the wave and I knew I had it. I pushed my hands down on the board and popped myself to my feet, I was up. The feeling of riding a wave is something I’ve never experienced. I then glanced up and saw my parents and friends cheering on the shore. I also hear my friend and her dad cheering behind me. It was like I was gliding through the air and I didn’t want it to end, but the moment it did I knew that surfing was something I wanted to begin doing all the time. The summer was quickly coming to an end, and I had been surfing ever since the day I rode my first wave. I surfed on an old long board that my dad had in the garage. My family and I went to the beach any day the sun was shining, and the surfboard always came with me. If we arrived to the beach and there were no wave to surf on I still would paddle out in the water and lay out there just to be in peace. The last few weeks of summer I was able to ride the line of a wave. The locals that sat on the beach, the local surfers, and myself were beginning to realize that I was becoming more and more experienced. Instead of surfing closer to shore where the more inexperienced surfers surfed, I was out by the edge of the rock pile with all the experienced surfers. They would all watch and see the skills I have developed over throughout the summer. They saw how skilled I was becoming that they recommended that I move onto a shorter surfboard, so I can continue to progress and get even better. This made me feel like I was becoming one of them because I was starting to get recognized and making a name for myself.   It was Christmas day of 2005. I jumped out of bed and ran down the stairs. The first thing that grabbed my attention immediately was a surfboard, a short board. I wasn’t interested in opening any other presents; I was glued to my surfboard. After I took the time to admire my new, and very own surf board I began opening the rest of my present, however, I could not get the surfboard out of my head. I opened up a wetsuit as another gift, which told me I was able to go out surfing anytime of the year, even that Christmas day. After I was finished opening all of my presents I then asked my mom if we could go down to the beach so I could try out my new surfboard, and of course she could not say no. We then drove down to the beach and I pulled my wet suit, and hood over my head and headed out to the water. Even with the wet suit my mom was lost for words that I was going in out in the water in December, but I did and I fell in love with my new surfboard. Finally summer was approaching, and I got a few chances to surf over the winter, but now that it was getting warmer out the more I was able to get in the water. Since I was still in school I didn’t get to surf everyday like I do in the summer, but I made sure I got out in the water every weekend. Once school finally got out it was back to everyday surfing for me. A week into the summer everyone was back, the locals, the local surfers, and what we called the “shoobies,” which were people who came down for the summer and gave us a hard time. The group of local surfers sat out by the rock pile and we all chatted while we waited for waves to come in. During our time spent talking we strictly talk about surfing. They then recommended that I start competing, and one of the best local guys even threw out that he thought I was one of the best paddlers in the water. I didn’t know what to say but the thought of competing sounded amazing. They then introduced me to the gentleman that runs the local contests. He also recommended that I should join and compete in the contests. Right then and there I gave him my information and signed up for the next competition. This competition was held on wildwoods beach, which was about fifteen minutes from my local beach. This made me a little nervous that my first contest would be on a beach that I am not familiar with, but there was no backing out. The day of the contest I was a little bit shaky but I was extremely excited. When it came time for my heat they called each girl that was going to be competing in that heat and they told us what color we were going to wear. I wore blue. We then stood by the water as they counted down from three and then blew they air horn. I raced into the water, paddled through the waves, and reached where I needed to be. I sat there for a moment to catch my breath. The run in, nerves, and paddling caught up to me, and I wasn’t ready to take a wave. As I sat on my board and composed myself I watched the other six girls fighting for wave, which made me realize I need to get myself ready. I know I need at least two decent waves because at the end the judges take your two best waves and place you that way. The waves we very choppy and weren’t the cleanest riding waves, but I had to deal with it. I was able to catch three different wave by the time the horn blew to end the heat. As I paddled in I knew I didn’t do as well as I thought and that I could have done a lot better. I wasn’t worried about where I placed in the contest because I knew I had to get the feeling of what it’s like to compete and now I know what to expect. I also now know what I need to do and how to prepare myself for the next contest because I wanted that first place trophy.  When the results came out I wound up placing forth in the contest, which I was satisfied with. After the contest was over everyone began singing up for the next upcoming contest. This contest was going to be held at Cape May’s beach. I was ecstatic. This was my home beach where I surfed my first wave, and where I surfed all the time. With no hesitation I signed up for that competition. I surfed as much as I could before the day of the contest. I would go in the water for three hours until my mom would call me in and tell me I needed to eat something. All of the locals, local surfers, and even some of my friends told me they were going to be there. Some of the local surfers were also going to be competing in the same contest. I couldn’t have been more excited for anything and I wanted to make sure that I would make everyone proud. The day has finally come and it was still dark out. I woke my parents up at five o’clock in the morning to get up and starting getting ready. I wanted to get down the beach a little early so I had some time to catch a few waves on my own. We got down to the beach around six o’clock and they already had the tents set up. My heat wasn’t until about eleven but I liked to watch other age groups compete, and I wanted to be there to support any of the local surfers. I watched the older men’s age group which a few of the local surfers were in. These were the guys who pushed me and help me to become the surfer I was. These guys have so much experience and are extremely talented. One guy in particular, his name was Mike Owens and everyone knew him. He was one of the oldest guys out there but one of the best surfers. This was the same guy who told me I was one of the best paddler’s he has seen. He was the guy I looked up to and went to for any surfing advice. He also told me that I have what it takes to become a very good surfer, and that people are recognizing me. That is what I thought about going into my heat. When it came time for my heat they called my age group and the age group above us. We were all going to be surfing in the same heat, but would get placed in our own age group. This made me a little nervous because I now have to worry about more girls being out in the water. They called each of our names and the color we are going to be wearing. I was in white. Then we all stood down by the water waiting for the horn to blow. I looked around and saw all of the locals, my friends, and many others standing on the rock pile watching us. That shook my nerves some, but I wasn’t going to allow that to get into my head. Next the horn blew and we all ran into the water. I took my time getting out into the water because the waves were rough and the current was strong. I didn’t want to waste all of my energy paddling out so I took my time taking deep breaths. Once I reached where I wanted to be I waited. There were some waves coming in but none that interested me. I watch the other girls fight for the waves that by the time one of them caught the wave they were up for only a few seconds. I knew I had plenty of time and I just needed two solid rides. I was the furthest one out in the water, but that meant went a wave came if I was the first on it the other girls couldn’t cut me off. Finally a wave came that caught my attention, so I paddled and caught it getting somewhat of a decent ride. The waves during this contest were hard to catch and would die out quickly, but I knew from my previous contest I had to deal with it. When I paddled back out I knew I needed to catch at least one more and get some type of ride. I was able to catch another wave but it was a short ride, and by the time I paddled back out the horn blew. Everyone knew that the waves weren’t good, so no one knew how we were going to get scored. I was however satisfied with how I performed because it was an extremely difficult surf day but I worked with what I had and did the best I could do. Although I was satisfied with my performance I had no idea where I placed in the contest and I was very eager to find out. When the contest came to an end and it was time for the judges to read the results and handout awards I was excited. I expected that I did better than my first contest because I prepared myself for this one. I didn’t know how much better I would do because everyone seemed pretty equal in the water. The judges began reading the results. As soon as they announced the girls I started to get butterflies. Then they announced my age group. Here it was. Where did I stand? They started off with sixth place, wasn’t me, fifth place, also not me, fourth place, not me. I was happy enough with that because I did better than my last contest, and I also placed in the top three which mean I was going to receive my first surfing trophy. The judges then announced third place, and it wasn’t my name. I was in shock that I was about to receive second or first place. I was preparing myself when they picked up the second place trophy. They read the name, I looked up in disbelief, and it was not me. I couldn’t believe it, this couldn’t be true. The judges finally picked up the first place trophy and called out my name. I walked up to receive my first place trophy, trying so to hold back my smile the judges shook my hand and gave me my trophy. From that day on people who I didn’t recognize would approach me asking if I was the surfer girl and that they have heard about me. I almost felt like a celebrity at times. Surfing has had a huge impact on my life and has part to with who I am today. It has been an experience I would never forget, and something I plan on sticking with for as long as possible, and I can say that I did it. I made a name for myself, and from that moment on people knew me as the “little blonde surfer girl.”


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