I’ve tried to surf before and I’m terrible. So I think I’ll stick with photographing those who know what they’re doing.
The other weekend, we made the short drive down the coast to one of the most spectacular surfing points in the south central coast / northern southern California called Rincon Point. Man oh man, were the waves cooperating.
The Rincon Classic surf competition was going on just around the corner, but I was having fun shooting all of the amateur surfers who were just south of the pros.
There were dozens of surfers out competing for the waves. I have no idea how they keep track of and avoid each other as they are all trying to catch the same wave. They clearly have a method to the apparent madness and they all seemed to get along just fine.
This was one of my favorite shots of the day. One surfer was just trying to ride the wave out and get on the other side of it, while another surfer had clearly caught it and was making his way through.
Even before we moved to the Santa Barbara area, we had talked about taking a surfing lesson. Now that we have a few months under our belt, we thought it would be a good idea to get at least one try in before the kids and Chris head back to Portland for a summer break.
After asking a few friends, we ended up at the A-Frame Surf Shop in Carpinteria, CA. Both friends had been there before and highly recommended them.
Our instructor Rob was great. He gave us some great instructions on the beach and walked us through the process of going from being prone on your stomach to standing up on the board. After about 20 minutes, we were ready to hit the water.
This is more of a testament to Rob’s teaching skill and his approach than to my surfing prowess. But, after paddling out maybe 20 yards (we were still in waist-deep water), Rob spotted a nice easy wave, guided me into it and then told me when to start the process of standing up. All the while, he was keeping the board steady from behind. Eventually, he let go, but not before he made it seem really easy.
So you can see Rob in the water behind me in the photo above. I think I’m about 30 feet away from the shore when Chris took this picture. Later in the lesson, we went out a bit farther and I was able to ride a wave in all on my own and it was a blast. Granted, I wiped out plenty of times because I forgot the stand up sequence and pulled my hands up too soon before I had my balance. Or I had my front foot to one side of the board instead of in the middle. All things that I’m hoping I’ll learn in good time.
Devyn was a natural in the water. She absolutely loved it and had a great time. So much, that she asked if she could get a wet suit and surf board for Christmas!