I had been yearning to go on a break for a while now (this was 3 months ago so calm down) but the 2nd wave dampened all the plans. That’s when I thought of surfing. So after a lot of hesitation and overthinking, I decided on a small 4-day break right here in Morjim, a town in Pernem Goa, which is a 2-hour ride from where I stay. So the plan was I’ll learn a bit of surfing and try catching a wave or two, treat myself to some good food and not worry about any sort of work.
Origins of Surfing
I love doing a little homework whenever possible, so surfing has been around as long back as mankind has known how to swim. The very first reference was found in Polynesia where a cave painting from the 12th century shows people riding waves. It is believed to be the training drill of the Tahitian and Samoans warriors, while in Hawaii it is considered sacred and a part of their culture.
Whatever the reason may be the Idea of catching a high thrusting wave definitely excites most of us, I’m sure! I remember watching a video clip where a professional surfer got trapped inside this gigantic wave. What adrenaline rush that might have been, I wonder!
I find surfing a survival instinct that our ancestors learnt to do for fishing, to travel to other coasts which were then replaced with the evolution of sailing and boats (just something i think that the dots can be connected to)
So began my very first surfing class around 8 am with my very charming coach Dennis at Banana surfing school, so we started with the drill and after doing about 20 sets (maybe more i was too Euphoric to remember) of these came the task of carrying the surfboard towards the beach but the real challenge was taking it towards the deeper end to catch a wave.
Every time a wave would crash land on me and throw me and the board right where we started from. After all that toil when I finally reached the point where I could catch a wave from, getting on to the board and waiting for the right timing to rise and having a good balance was another thing altogether for me.
Why surfing is a complete sport?
The drills include:
* Upward dog/ snake pose – It works on the oblique muscles, back muscles as well as dorsal muscles.
*Getting up quickly and squatting– You have to be quick and very observant especially while doing it in the water while trying to wait for the right time to take off. It works your glute and shoulder muscles also demanding you be quick as the waves act as a stimulus.
*Posture and Hand and leg coordination– It helps in improving the posture and improves coordination in turn improving your reflexes.
Paddling– works your upper back and deltoid muscles.
*Focus– It demands undivided attention forcing you to be present in the moment or fall hence building mindfulness.
*Balance– balancing and being calm and following what the waves command making it very grounding and letting go practice.
Adding to it is the whole drill of carrying the surfing board back and forth. It has been officially classed as a vigorous sport and an excellent cardiovascular workout, integration of all the above key elements is what makes it a complete sport.
Fact check- It burns the same amount of calories as football or a session in a gym.
Surfing also acts as a low impact training. Aged surfers are seen to have fewer knee and hip injuries as compared to people who regularly run or hit the gym cause of the cross-training effect of surfing which brilliantly builds the core.
The ocean symbolizes calm and uncertainty at the same time. As a kid, I’ve always watched the waves and vastness enchanted cause if you look long enough it has this hypnosis effect on you and surfing will help you enhance that experience making it a very grounding practice.
There are several surfing schools here in Goa that you can try out but I genuinely felt that Banana surfing school in Morjim had a set of excellent and dedicated coaches to look out for. You can read and inquire about them here http://goasurf.com/ and as they say, all you need for surfing is waves, board and most importantly yourself!
Passion is overrated, routine is the King.
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