A note: Today I turn 5 in my surfing career 🎉 I’m writing a really short summary of all the things that happened in the past 5 years.
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Learning to become a Longboard Surfer
Surfing is more than just a sport; it’s a way of life. As I reflect on my journey, I realize how surfing has transformed me from a curious beginner to a passionate and dedicated adventurer.
Starting in 2018, my humble beginnings as a surfer in Pacifica, San Francisco, have led me on a remarkable path of self-discovery, thrilling experiences, and connections with remarkable individuals. Today, as I celebrate my fifth year in the world of surfing, I cannot help but appreciate the profound impact it has had on my life.
The Early Days
In June 2018, a casual invitation from my friend Daniele sparked my interest in surfing. A single surf lesson ignited an indescribable excitement within me. I began renting surfboards and wetsuits, eagerly venturing into the waves every weekend. Despite the absence of my own gear, my dedication only grew stronger.
Longboard Progression and Dedication
To overcome the limitations of renting, I purchased my first second-hand surfboard, a 9’1 Modern Longboard, and embraced the freedom of having my own equipment. With a newfound passion for surfing, I pursued the sport relentlessly. The acquisition of a car allowed me to indulge in the ocean’s embrace whenever I desired. Even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I remained committed, making early dawn or post-work sessions a regular part of my routine.
As my skills improved, I sought out new challenges and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Learning the art of surfboard repair at Alex Martins Surf Shop in Ocean Beach, San Francisco, further deepened my connection to the surfing community. Inspired by the legendary Mavericks, I set my sights on conquering larger waves. Fort Point, situated beneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, provided the setting for my first exhilarating experience with 8-foot waves. The taste of bigger surf only fueled my determination.
Mavericks and Beyond
In January 2021, I embarked on a boat trip to Mavericks, witnessing firsthand the colossal scale of the waves. This encounter served as a catalyst, urging me to test my skills in more substantial surf. Throughout the winter of 2021, I fearlessly challenged myself, honing my abilities on 10-foot waves with my trusty longboard. Eventually, I made the move to Capitola, California, where consistent waves offered me the perfect platform for improvement.
Learning from the Best
In 2021, I had the privilege of training with world-renowned surfers such as Kai Lenny and Nic Von Rupp. Their guidance taught me the importance of physical preparation and mental focus, enabling me to exceed my perceived limitations. Joining the Big Stick Surfing Association and participating in the MSA Classics Invitation Malibu Surf Contest further exposed me to the vibrant community and competitive spirit that thrives within the world of surfing.
Epitome of Achievement
My relentless dedication and unwavering commitment paid off when I reached the semifinals at the prestigious Malibu Surf Contest, finishing ahead of surfers I had long admired. The experience fueled my desire for growth, and I continued training tirelessly. A serendipitous encounter with my favorite longboard surfer, Phil Rajzman, led to an invitation to join him in Hawaii. The North Shore’s epic waves became my playground, culminating in the unforgettable experience of riding Waimea Bay alongside a surfing legend.
With every passing day, I find myself increasingly connected to the rhythm of the ocean. Surfing has instilled within me a sense of harmony with nature, invigorating my spirit and granting me a profound appreciation for the journey. As I celebrate my fifth year as a surfer, I am eager to continue pushing my limits, perfecting my longboard skills, and embracing the upcoming summer contests.
Surfing has been more than a mere hobby; it has become an integral part of my identity. From the first surf lesson to scoring unforgettable waves in Hawaii and conquering Mavericks, my growth as a surfer has been a testament to my determination and passion. Through the ups and downs, surfing has provided me with a sense of purpose and connection with the world around me. As I embark on the next chapter of my surfing journey, I eagerly anticipate the adventures, challenges, and personal growth that lie ahead.