KUTA BEACH, Indonesia // My Apo has instilled in me the importance of respecting the water since I was a kid on the beaches of Hawaii. You never turn your back to the ocean, and you never get into waters you don't know. So when we got to Bali we took a surf lesson. We could have easily rented boards on the beach, but they come with no instructions, and honestly they don't really care if you kill yourself out there. We learned what times of day has the best waves, 8AM - 9AM and 2PM - 3PM. We learned how to identify where the rip current was and where the best breaks were. We went over putting your hands up to protect your head anytime you fall, and to fall flat and never pencil. In fact we went over 3 pages of notes before we even hit the water. Surfing is definitely a sport you have to do to learn, but hearing the basics and about the waters of Bali helped me feel at ease in the water.
After our lesson we rented boards for the next 5 days straight from 11 AM - 4 PM everyday. Surfing is a rush of adrenaline, fear, and ecstasy. 99% of the time I fail. I am too early on a wave and get pounded when it crests on top of me, or I'm too high in the wave and I nose dive into the water below. Sometimes I'm in the wrong spot, another surfer gets in my way, or I'm paddling too slow. The opportunity for things to go wrong is high, and when you get it wrong you get crushed and drink lots of salt water as you tumble in the waves. Your shoulders get tired and you chafe your inner arms and thighs against the foam board. But that 1% of the time you get it right it makes up for everything. Being on top of the water gliding on a wave feels like you're flying. When I make it to shore and dismount I immediately look for Adam on the beach to see if he witnessed the miracle that was me surfing. Then I turn back to sea and paddle out and wait for the next moment of magic.
Jenny original quote, "When life gives you gnar, shred it!"