Surfing — meditation for people who can’t sit still.

I had quite a sublime experience. It was the golden hour, the last hour of sunshine where the lighting goes all magical. Dappled lighting fell across the water, playfully casting an iridescent glow.

A concoction of colours bled across the sky, always transient as the next one swept by. The sky turned a violent shade of violet as the blue ‘hour’ approached. Twilight lingered briefly in a period of neither daylight or darkness, and then night set in.

All this time I sat on my board. Calm and still. Enchanted by the smell of coconut surf wax, the taste of salt water, the distant echo of waves and the feeling of the smooth water engulfing me.

My desire to paddle for waves faded, as I become more and more lost in my musings. I just sat and reflected. At risk of sounding cheesy, I felt happiness and peace.

For someone who struggles to sit still, this meditation of sorts was quite the feat. This was my closest experience to meditating previously…

There is something quite magical about surfing, and this is coming from a complete rookie. Being immersed in the ocean, thrown about it it’s mercy. I feel alive… Adrenaline dancing through my body.

And I’ve found my new favourite hour to surf. The fact that it’s also shark feeding hour is pushed far into the deepest recesses of my mind.


waiting for the waves…

Winter Surfing 101


On several occasions I have braved the elements and gone for a morning surf in Wellington’s icey  waters.

I venture out in the peak of winter surf fashion:  a steamer, booties and a peaked hood (warmth and sun protection!)

My steamer slightly lets me down. I’ve been doning my Irish flat mate Gavin’s spare. His is a size medium short (man) so it’s approximately 2-3 sizes too large. But  I justified it by the fact I save a whopping $10 hireage cost.

The suit was almost toasty on shorter surfs, but I felt the wrath of this decision when I stayed out for a full hour. After 45 minutes, ripples of cold water start to move through the suit. First the chest, and then the legs.

After an hour my hands were so numb they lacked the strength to unzip the wetsuit. For at least 10 minutes I attempted this in vain. Next time I quickly coughed up the cash and hired a suit in my actual size.

Despite the brisk temperature, the whole experience is completely exhilirating. I can’t help but beam as I lie on my board waiting for the next set to roll in.

I’m quite proud of the fact that I can now easily stand on my long board. I wave furiously in enthusiasm to my fellow surfers and have mastered the skill of doing so without falling off.

The time has come to learn to maneouver the board along the wave, but for now I’m still shrieking in glee as I ride the white water into the shore.

And I’m reminded once again of what a unique city Wellington is. My flatties and I walk down the road for a surf,  go home warm up and then stroll back out for brunch at the infamous cafe Maranui.

As I eat my eggs benedict I watch the other surfers frollicking in Lyall Bay’s waves. Living the Kiwi dream you could say.