Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Curl of a Wave

Nature is a powerful force and frequently we are at her mercy. Dylan Moran once commented that when Australians aren't barbequing, they are throwing themselves into the ocean, which is full of things designed to kill you. I was once asked what the point of going into the surf was. The questioner postulated that, more or less, you are trying not to die - trying to beat nature at her deadly game of throwing you to the ocean floor, dragging you out to sea, or sending you hurling back to shore.

That may be true, but only on a bad day. On a good day you are at one with the ocean. There is great pleasure in riding your boogie board in on the curl of the wave. It doesn't have to be fancy trickery. Just grab a good looking wave and make a bee line for the shore. Cap this off with a fine dismount. I find struggling to stand in ankle deep water is always impressive. If you can grind your boogie board into the sand, centimetres away from the towel of a horrified 5 year old, this is also good. Perhaps my finest moment (most mediocre moment), however, was on my very first outing with a boogie board (prior to this I enjoyed body surfing like a demented turtle, once a year or so). Looking down the barrel of a wave about to crash (too late to catch it, too inexperienced to duck roll under it), I stared it down, board in front of my face. The wave then taught me a lesson. It smashed the board into my forehead with the full force of angry nature. I was fortunate to leave the beach that day with an egg and not concussion. Lesson learned. Perfection in boogie boarding - never to be learned.

Read about Caroline Catz's (Doc Martin) boogie boarding experience at:


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