By Angelina Herrera and Mariyah Ramirez
Surfing is more than just a recreational activity. It is a complex art form. Imagine waiting for a huge wave, but suddenly an elephant seal pops up and startles you mid-shred. It’s moments like these that make surfing a thrilling and unpredictable experience.
One of the most challenging waves to ride is the barrel wave. It requires surfers to ride inside the hollowed-out wave, making it a difficult but also exciting endeavor when completed successfully.
For surfers, the ocean is more than just a body of water, it is a friend and place to connect with nature. While surfing, they often encounter sea creatures such as sharks and seals.
“I’ve had an elephant seal bark in my face (they have bad breath by the way). Smaller seals are funny like dogs I think, I’ve seen them harass my friends grabbing their leash and pulling them,” science teacher Donald Day said.
Despite the risks, there’s nothing quite like surfing with other experienced surfers. Surfing is a global community where surfers travel to explore new beaches and friendships in places such as Costa Rica, Mexico, and South African.
“I still communicate with friends I met decades ago in Australia, Costa Rica, Mexico, South Africa and all over the world. It’s kind of like a tribe,” Day said.
Surfing is not only a way to de-stress, but it can also become a lifelong passion. Surfers tend to love the challenge and the hard waves that come with surfing. It takes many years and waves to master the art of shredding waves. However, the surfing community is very open to help one another out in the ocean.
The sport of surfing seems like it’s all fun and games, but, in order to get to your best ability there is a lot of self-determination and grit to becoming a good surfer.
“It takes several years minimum if you’re young, agile and surfing often. I started competing at age 11 or 12,” Day said.
Even the best surfers have experienced epic fails, whether it be due to injuries caused by the surfboard or sea creatures.
“The worst is to land on the fins of your board, and the nose of your board can be sharp,” Day said.
As surfers wait for the waves to come, their adrenaline begins to build up. They study the water, imagining how the wave will interact with the rocks and ocean bottom, according to Day. This helps them determine where the most energetic part of the wave will be.
Surfing is not just a sport, but a way of life. It requires determination and grit, as well as a deep connection to the ocean and its creatures. Although it may seem like a fun and carefree activity, it takes practice and community to be a good surfer.