How not to surf


My head spun and I felt ridiculous. I had laid my surf board on the hot sandy beach hoping the steady ground would cure me from nausea. Instead, the heap of smelly seaweed next to my make shift surf bed was making me want to vomit.

"You got sea sick from surfing?" my boyfriend asked incredulously when he picked me up. "Yes, and it was horrible!" I replied, hoping for sympathy. Instead, the mutter of our rental scooter barely covered his laughter.

Earlier, I had excitedly signed up for my first surf lesson. It had been a long standing dream to ride waves, and our three day weekend in the scenic beach town of Kenting, Southern Taiwan, seemed the perfect place to break into my new hobby.

Everything we did in the afternoon lesson seemed interesting: trying on sea shoes, riding in the big combi van with a bunch of young Taiwanese surf students, practicing balance on the sand, lugging my huge pink surfboard to the sea.

Previous sporting failures should have warned me the surf romance wouldn't last.

"No good La-isa! No good! Butt in air! You no put butt in air!" The frustrated instructor yelled as I resurfaced from another dump in the sea. I nodded and once again climbed on Pinky, the affectionate nickname I had given the surfboard, and my only ally in the evil waters. As another wave swept Pinky and I up in its all encompassing grasp, I tried to raise my rear end but gravity had other plans. Again, I flew into the water. Salt water stung my eyes, and I felt dizzy. Suddenly an onset of nausea hit me and I knew I had to get on steady land as soon as possible, otherwise my fellow students would be surfing through more than just water.

I waddled to shore, pulling a determined Pinky with me. As soon as we hit the sand, I drifted to sleep, face down on the board. "You come back tomorrow?" The instructor asked a few minutes later as he hovered over me, seeing if I was still alive. I could only mutter "definitely not tomorrow" in return.



L Peuckert-Coleman

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