Week Eleven | Surfing Life

Nature’s seasons can teach us so many lessons. The ebb and flow of it can be compared to life itself; it gives us a revelation and an understanding of what’s going on. It also gives us a grace to know that this too shall pass, that seasons do change and life will go on. 

Jeffrey’s Bay is renowned for its surfing waves, and people from all over the world visit this town to experience the ocean. Ever since moving to this town, I’ve bumped into surfers and bodyboarders everywhere. I would inevitably hear bits and pieces of what it’s like to surf the Jbay waves.

But with these stories also come tales of horror and caution, of waves that are too strong and accidents that have been caused. The more I heard these stories, the more I became too scared to try out the waves for myself.

This month I celebrated one year of living in Jeffrey’s Bay. And I knew: It is time for that surfing lesson.

On a bright, early Wednesday morning, I spent two hours in the ocean with a surf instructor. Out of those 120 minutes, I only caught about ten waves. I learned how to balance myself on the board, paddle, and then eventually stand on the board. 

Out of those ten waves, I fell off the board two times. One time it was because my foot slipped, and the other time it was because I was off-balance. Both of those times, it was something I did and it caused the flop to happen.

However, two powerful waves came out of nowhere, and those waves completely catapulted me upside down. As the waves engulfed me, I realized: This is what life is also like at times. Sometimes we fall off the board because of our own mistakes and/or shortcomings, but sometimes some waves overpower us, no matter how ready we are for it. 

This is the nature of life; every wave looks and feels completely different. You can’t keep your balance on the board all the time, and sometimes you will fall off and swallow the salt water. What matters the most is to just laugh it off, brush the sand off your face, get up and try again. 


We are terrified of death

yet we live

so often

dull and irritable days

as though we had 

the luxury

of time

to squander.

– Samantha Reynolds


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