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Unforeseen passion: an unconventional outdoors journal

Surfing is a popular pastime and the fact that I am from southern California would make one think that I have been surfing before.

Nikki Hansen / The Arbiter

Surfing is a popular pastime and the fact that I am from southern California would make one think that I have been surfing before.  Unfortunately, I am an exception to this despite living a short drive from the beach my entire life.

Many of you may be shocked and appalled by the fact that I did not take full advantage of the beautiful beaches surrounding me throughout my childhood, adolescence and even adulthood.  But what I will say to you is surfing is a sport I have only recently discovered requires a lot of talent, patience and determination.

It is odd that I would have my first “surfing” experience in Idaho despite my California up-bringing.

It appears I have taken the idea of experiencing as much as I can in college to a whole new level.  I have a desire to try everything at least once and that is why I believe many of us open new doors and discover passions we did not even know we had while in college.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to Donnelly this summer and have access not only to a boat, jet skis, kayak, paddleboat and wakeboards, but even something I was not even aware existed – wake surfing.

Now I have been wake boarding before and as a beginner I have taken some less-than-pleasant falls.  I was not aware how painful it could be when I do take those tumbles. However, wake surfing was a whole new ball game.

It was difficult to fathom the idea that when the boat began moving, I would naturally be able to stand up on a surfboard that I was not strapped into.  I came to the conclusion that this must be an act of physics and when it comes to science it is just better to accept all of the laws of motion.

I was extremely proud of myself that I could stand up on my first attempt at wake surfing but shortly after this conquest I realized I now needed to pull myself closer to the boat by moving up the knots in the rope.  This unfortunately was something that proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.

Despite struggling in moving up the rope, I soon learned the value of an athletic stance and was extremely grateful that each tumble I took from the surfboard resulted in a soft splash in the water.  No longer was I face planting at 18 mph.

I thoroughly enjoyed wake surfing and would recommend to all they try it at least once because of the thrill that comes from successfully reaching the wake.  In fact, staying on the surfboard is a success in itself.

I will also issue a challenge to all who choose to wake surf: Attempt to wake surf with another person.  I did not personally try this because it was my first time on a surfboard, but my friends attempted and were successful.

It is a true test of athleticism and balance to ride on a small surfboard with another individual.  The real question is whether you can handle the challenge.