When I moved to Los Angeles, I had no idea I’d ever become a surfer. I’d never surfed, and truthfully, I’d never really had much desire to try it. Water sports kind of freak me out. I’ve seen too many years of Shark Week to have a burning desire to get on a board.
But Los Angeles is a veritable mecca for surfers. I mean, I guess Australia or some other places around the world might be better, but California boasts some pretty epic waves. It’s also home to a really dedicated surfing community. The more guys I met out here, the more I kept getting the same question over and over: Do you surf, man?
It was kind of a bummer to have to say no every time. And people here were great – they kept inviting me along until I ran out of excuses for taking a pass. I guess I was a little nervous. Sometimes it’s hard to jump into a new sport when everybody around you is experienced, especially when it’s something a bit more extreme like surfing.
But it turns out, I totally love surfing. It’s an awesome release after spending nine to five in the office. I mean, I love my job and all, but it’s hard to compare that to catching waves. Surfing was definitely hard at first – it requires so much upper body strength and determination to just keep trying and trying – but it didn’t take that long to get the hang of. I’ve always been a pretty in shape guy, so the strength aspect of it wasn’t that big a deal for me.
Plus, the better at surfing you get, the more you know about what kind of gear will improve your game. After a few months of doing it pretty much every weekend, I finally got my own board. From there, I bought some sweet thruster fins, and now I’m totally pimped out. I seriously never thought I’d be the guy who could have long conversations about fins and all kinds of gear and stuff, but here I am I guess.
All in all – and at the risk of sounding less than super manly – I was pretty nervous about giving surfing a try. But it turned out to be awesome. Not only do I love doing it – and I really still go at least once a weekend – but I have made a lot of friends in the process. I didn’t know many people when I first got to Los Angeles, so it’s been a relief to have surfing. It’s like an instant, built-in community. And I definitely feel like I’m in the best shape of my life now.
When you live in a place like California, it’s hard not to justify taking up an outdoor sport. But when you’ve got the added bonus of the ocean right down the street (ok, practically right down the street,) water sports become practically a must. Consider surfing. It’s a sport that affords you a great workout, great buddies and a hell of a tan. Just don’t forget to wear a tank top or a tee shirt so the wax doesn’t get stuck in your hair (that aways happens to me, ugh!)
Photo Credit: The Pug Father