It has been more than 7 years since the last time I had more than two beginners with me in the water at the same time. Luckily a good friend came with to help us. Now I am proud to say that I have taught two out of my three younger sisters how to surf, and I can’t wait to make that three. Today was special because all our guests were long time enthusiasts and all of them have been wanting to do this for a very long time. Casper and my sister, Lea, especially. And not only did both of them stand up on their first day but both had an awesome time. Lea has already gone surfing again, with another friend, and she is officially hooked, while I am sure Casper would be if he could afford the time. It is not at all strange to see someone looking to buy a board and wetsuit a few days after their first time standing on a wave.
So we made the trek to Muizenberg, suited up, and did some warm ups on the beach. The waves were great for beginners and I knew that as long as the wind kept quiet it would be a very pleasant winter’s day. The wind did not bother us too much until right at the end and both newbies caught some classic first time waves. It was an emotional experience to watch a sibling towards whom I feel such a close affinity surf for the first time. Surfing carries a lot of personal significance for me and to be honest it was only after I recently started teaching my wife how to surf, and subsequently started Unravel Travel, that the little burning fire of desire was rekindled and I felt that spark of excitement still alive after years of it lying dormant afraid of too many errands and disappointments to come out. Watching my sister surf was great encouragement for that little fire to burn stronger and stronger and it is only fitting that in recent years I have never felt that fire stronger than it is at the moment. Because less than a week after having taught my sister how to surf I will have moved to my home in the country and I will be with my wife full time.
And I am sitting here writing this wondering if it is safe to let that fire loose after my innards have been saturated with fire repellent for so long. Maybe I ill not be able to handle the rush any more. Maybe the spark is gone forever? When I saw my sister surfing I knew that the spark was still there. That spark that unexpectedly jumped out at me when my wife first told me she actually wanted to surf. It wasn’t just something we tried once or twice for a little bit of fun. She was actually excited about it. I was so relieved to see that little bundle of excitement still alive and on call to stand by for adventure! And that if I nurtured and rekindled it would burst out to match itself in intensity at the hight of my surfing journey 8 years ago. And, seeing as I was now in a position to share this spark with so many people I could surpass what I thought was the ultimate rush and go beyond and discover where adventure can take me, as an adult, if I allow it to. But time will tell, and this was three foot Muizenberg, so not quite yet.
It was also cool try out some of the newest additions to the Unravel Travel Quiver. (Technically its called a quiver of surfboards, not a collection of surfboards) A ten foot goliath board, big enough to teach even the biggest of my friends, and they are huge. And a real old school single fin board. Jenya got some classic pictures and I got that old school board to go pretty fast. I was very chaffed to discover that when I hit the board’s sweet spot, it would whistle at me. This basically means that when the board is moving through the water at optimal speeds its hydrodynamics, the shape of the board and its fin, causes it to vibrate at a high pitch. It doesn’t disturb your balance so it doesn’t really affect your surfing as such, but it does sound pretty cool. I have never owned a board that did this. It may be as a result of extensive renovations that had to be done before the board was surf-able. (We picked it up in a pretty bad shape out of a dusty garage) Then on top of that we managed to surf tandem on the goliath board. My wife paddled in front and I paddled at the back and we managed to catch four waves before we finally stood for about four seconds. But we stood and surfed, and this was another first, all in one day. It was one of those days that is simply indescribable with words.
But I really do want to share it, and, that is the point of this blog. So I hope that my raving imparts some sense of what an incredible experience it can be if you are accompanied by the right people. I want to let the photos do the rest of the work. Jenya and her camera really makes this possible, because without that my words would never have done justice to any of it. I will not be able to do anything more than compliment the great photos she has provided for our blog.