-by Roni Weiss
For many days before my surf lesson, I had images of falling off the surfboard, smashing my face, and breaking a tooth.
I tweeted my fears and asked how to avoid hurting myself on my Facebook page. When I got to Maui Wave Riders, I felt incredibly silly. All of my worries washed away when I saw that my group consisted mostly of tweens, with only one other grown man in the group. Having worked with kids for many years, I didn’t feel awkward. In fact, it’s only as I write this that I consider this situation potentially feeling odd for someone else. I found comfort in knowing that someone else’s parents had signed off on this as a safe activity for those under 10.
We were introduced to our instructor, Sonny, who walked us down to the beach. I asked him how long he’d been surfing. A native Mauian, he told me that he “caught [his] first wave at 5″. Another reason to question my earlier anxiety.
Surfboards on our heads, we walked down to the beach for our lesson. Paddle paddle paddle (with cupped hands), push up (with hands on either side of your chest), quick motion up, hands out in “surfing position”, eyes forward. We practiced a few times before going out. Once in the water, the seven of us took turns having Sonny help us catch the wave. With the big board I was on, I had no trouble getting up and maintaining my balance for a bit before safely falling into the water.
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About Roni Weiss: Roni Weiss is a travel industry connector, social media consultant and travel/events blogger. He is the organizer of the New York Travel Festival, a new consumer travel event and co-founder of Destination Accelerator and Travel Talk on Twitter.