Taming the Beast

 

“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”

Phil Edwards

 

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I think its quite awesome how it takes less than a week to turn you from someone that thinks surfing is quite cool into someone thats obsessed with it. When we came to New Zealand, we were already planning to learn surfing somewhere. What I didn’t expect is that we would accidentally walk into a surf shop and get geared up spontaneously. I didn’t regret it.

 

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What makes surfing such an awesome sport? When you really get into it, its more than just a sport. It’s a lifestyle. A new attitude towards life. You stop worrying about how messy your hair looks or how your skin is dry from the salty water. Your hair gets a lot brighter and your face is right on the thin edge between entirely sunburned and nicely tanned. You drive your car with bare feet and swimming trunks searching for the best spot to surf.

 

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And the moment you get into the water, there is nothing but you and your board. Your mission is to tame the waves – ride them before they knock you over. Walls of whitewater will run towards you and they won’t wait until you’re ready. When it gets you, it will pull you under and there is nothing you can do against it. It will shake you and spin you around until you forget in which direction the surface is. The weird thing is, you’re not even scared in those moments. You are just holding your breath and waiting until your body floats to the surface. You wait – well aware that your life is in natures hands.

 

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When you manage to catch the wave, however, your body is instantly filled with joy. The wave speeds up your board and you can feel it pushing you towards the shore. You get up, you surf it. For me as a beginner, its mainly trying to keep my balance while smiling like an idiot. And when you catch a wave good enough, you can ride it for what feels like minutes. Surfing is one of the few things you can do where you are right in the moment.

Nicolas Markschat

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