Kelsey: Surfing with snow on the ground

August 23, 2011
Today I learned how to surf in 45 degree (F) water and it was AHHHHHMAZZZINNGGG.

We set up our surfing trip with our new friend Dan (who was our guide from the ski trip I talked about last weekend) and we rented some wetsuits from the Unipol recreation centre on campus and Dan hooked us up with some free surfboards. I woke up at 7:45 (after pressing the snooze a few times of course) and ate some breakfast before Victoria got here and we struggled to pick what clothes to wear underneath our wetsuits and struggled to get them on. Once we were ready, Dan came to pick us up and we headed through the windy roads in the hills to get to Long Beach because that’s where Dan said the waves would be the smallest.

After getting all of our stuff out to the beach we got the rest of our wetsuits on and did the classic quick lesson on the beach before we actually got in the water. Dan taught us how to paddle and how to put our feet when we were getting up. Soon after our lesson, it was time to head into the water, which to say the least, I was slightly dreading. It ended up not being that bad with our wetsuits but the only thing that was painful to bear was the hands and the head when they got wet, but it wasn’t terrible. For awhile Dan was just helping us find which waves to take and how to catch them so we were getting tossed around but it was good. After a substantial amount of time not being able to feel our hands, we decided to take a break and lay in the sun (in our thick wetsuits of course haha) after a few minutes of shivering we decided to run/walk along the beach and collect shells (well, I was the only one collecting haha) and check out the caves at the end of the beach that Dan said during the summer they put disco balls and stuff in and bus people from the Octagon and they just party in there haha. We spent a little more time walking along the beach and chasing the birds (well actually, again that was only me.. hah) and warmed up our hands as much as we could and we headed back out there.
By this time we pretty much had the skill of “catching a wave” down and so now it was all about getting enough speed to stand up and ride the wave. After a few times practising and getting tossed off of board, I finally stood up! Granted, I didn’t actually RIDE the wave and really only stood up enough to say that I did and then fell, but I did it a few times so it wasn’t a fluke! Me and Victoria had set goals before we set out and mine was to stand up so mission accomplished and Tor was kicking some major butt too so we agreed that our surfing adventures were very successful!

Little did I know the adventure wasn’t done! Turns out my wetsuit zipper was like broken or something and I was stuck in my wetsuit for a good 10 minutes while Tor and Dan tried everything in their powers to get me out, including yanking, breaking a shell and manoeuvring Dan’s car keys to break me loose of the wetsuit haha. It was soo nice to get out of that wetsuit and into some dry clothes which actually made us realize how nice it was outside.  Which made it confusing to think about the people who were at the beach with us (not many) in winter coats! But they were also watching us swim in the ocean so that probably made it a bit colder for them haha.

Overall it was one of the best experiences I’ve had so far here! I had SO much fun so we vowed to go out again soon. Ahhh what a great morning! Now we’re off to the Dunedin Rail Jam downtown which should be cool to see!

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