Monday, August 27, 2007

Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how

This past weekend was my last big adventure of the summer. Right after work on Friday, Jessica and I took off for a weekend of surfing in Tofino. My body took a beating when it was pounded by waves, and muscles are hurting that I didn't even know existed until now, my hands are covered in blisters from the long board and salt water- but I have a huge smile on my face and a head full of wonderful memories.
This has been a big year for new challenges in my life. Working for a lifestyle clothing brand in the action sports industry has given me some amazing opportunities to try new things. This past winter I hit the mountain and learned to snowboard; this weekend, I took on the ocean. Jessica and I participated in the Roxy Surf Camp put on by the Bruhwiler Surf School. The camp was a fantastic way to try a new sport, learn some new skills, meet some awesome girls and spend a fun weekend in the ocean and the sun. The rush of catching and actually being able to ride a wave is mind blowingly exhilarating and something I never actually imagined I would be able to do. But I did. Surfing may very well be the most fun sport I've ever tried. Bright and early Saturday morning, we put on our (less than flattering) wetsuits, and headed out to Chesterman Beach with our crew of ladies stoked to play Blue Crush. Unreal.

Our instructor was Catherine Bruhwiler, who is one of the top surfers in Canada. She is incredible to watch- she makes everything look so easy. She would ride a wave and every single person on the beach and in the ocean would stop and stare, mouths hanging open, in awe of her gracefulness. Having grown up in Tofino, Catherine has been surfing since she was a little kid. Her two brothers Raph and Sepp are both Quiksilver sponsored pro surfers as well. She now spends the better part of the year living in Mexico with her husband and two kids, surfing. She comes home to Vancouver Island to teach the Roxy Camps at the family surf school each summer. We were so inspired by her energy and skills. We could not have dreamed of having a more fabulous instructor. She cheered us on and showed us the ropes for two full days of riding the waves and hanging ten.

There's really nothing that beats a day at the beach. I don't think I could ever live somewhere that wasn't close to the ocean. I really treasure having access to it any time I feel like it. We lucked out with the weather- there were some clouds and drizzle Saturday morning but it cleared up to sunny skies for the most part by the afternoon and Sunday was a flawless stretch of clear, blue sky and beaming sunshine. My whole life, I've been fantasizing about learning how to surf. And now I can say that I've gotten out there and given it a stop, the Pipeline in Hawaii in my bikini. I'm hooked.

Despite the crazy ferry line-ups (note to self: make reservations for all future ferry trips!) the weekend was absolutely perfect and I have discovered a love for a new sport to boot!


Keira-Anne said...

I'm glad you had fun. I know that by saying this I sound like the biggest party pooper, but there's something about Tofino that us Islanders are fiercely protective of. Generating tourism dollars is good for the community out there, but at the same time, I wish some spots of the Island like Tofino were designated as Island-locals only.

Jennifer Stoddart said...

While I would hate for that to be the case because it would mean that I wouldn't be able to visit...I can totally understand where you're coming from as far as being protective. It is a beautiful and special place Tofino.

JaG said...

Surfing always looks so hard!! I'm glad you discovered something new that you like. I tried windsurfing once and sucked at it.