Body-Boarding in big waves

I was mistaken, thinking that Boogie boarding, also called Body-boarding was an easy water sport. Up to two weeks ago, I treated it as something which kids and unfit adults might do at the beach on a-one meter wave. I never used fins before, and I never dared to ride big waves.

Being an avid kite surfer, I learned to respect and appreciate the art of riding waves. The mighty waves on the South coast always scared me with their immense power and volume. Being with my youngest son around Ocean Beach, during the COVID shutdown taught me one tough lesson.

At first, we have tried surfing…

I hired two cheap foam-boards from Mike, our local instructor, and went for a try. Satya, my son did sort of ok, I barely managed to stand on the board. The problem wasn’t jumping on the board or standing. I could barely paddle out into the open ocean.

In my very first session, I got so sore in my lower back and shoulders, realizing I have barely an arch in my back to stay up. I was also getting quickly cold, waiting for a bloody wave to ride. I felt stupid right next to all the other surfers and was instantly discouraged.

The next time around, I took my old boogie board while Satya tried his luck surfing again. This time we ended up at the second reef, where the waves were much bigger and cleaner. Satya lend me his fins, and this was the very first time I went into real waves. Just going past the big waves was a mission. I was getting a bit scared but I wasn’t about to quit before giving it a fair try

Satya came by and gave me some instructions. He loved doing it. The best tip he gave me was to hold the board on one side and lift the front end with the second hand, as I was about to drop from the face of the wave. I always thought I had good timing when it came to body surfing, but those waves were much bigger with a lot of more power behind them.

“Go, go now” I heard him yelling. “ Paddle with your feet as hard as you can” he kept on hammering. I missed the first wave, but then caught the next one. I went on in straight line thrilled, just to get dumped somehow towards the end of the run.

“ You got to go sideways not straight forward” he kept on coaching. I felt so out of place, it was humiliating. I ended up catching another three big waves and the last one was so powerful I barely knew where I was. Luckily, I was alive and totally out of breath. Trembling, shivering I caught some foams and kick my fins back to safety.

I sat on the beach and watched the youngsters feeling quite calm. The next day I went to Big Surf, our local Denmark Surf shop, and bought a decent new board and a pair of fins. I was into learning it so I have some water sport while it’s not windy.