Riding my first wave

Written by Allen Zhao – iX Coding ’14

I finally understand the meaning of “The power of nature”.

So I finally checked something off my bucket list, and believe me, that doesn’t happen very often. Growing up in Hong Kong, I should have checked this off ages ago (now that I think about it, why have I still not done this?). You’ve probably seen some movies and/or cartoons, where the main character tunnels through ’em gigantic waves that literally spiral over you completely. When it seems like the waves are going to crash down and drown that James Bond, he comes out the other side of the wave, completely untouched. Well I’ve always wanted to be James Bond.

Before coming to iXperience one of the things that made me so excited was the fact that we could go surfing. In fact, I was so excited for it that I actually ended up having an argument with my best friend about how bloody awesome I thought surfing was (as compared to hiking… jeez who wants to hike?).

You know how they say that when you fantasise, dream and build up something so much, you raise your expectations and place the bar at a place so high that only the heavens can reach it. Well, no matter how high I put my bar this time, surfing definitely high jumped over that sucker and flew way higher.

Surfing was A W E S O M E.

Great poets would make great poems by paralleling objects with tremendous strength with nature’s might: explosions of volcanoes; the unforgivingness of the oceans; the strength of mountains. The most unexpected thing about surfing was just the pure power behind the ocean. “The power of nature” has a completely new meaning to me.

Surfing was a lot harder than what James Bond makes it seem. It does require a lot of upper body strength. Paddling out while trying to get past the waves you’re trying to ride is no easy task. Truth be told, halfway through, I completely gave up on paddling out and just rammed straight through every wave that dared to tackle me. It was tiring.

But all the passionate surfers out there know that the best part comes next.

When you “catch” a wave, you need to make sure you’re actually moving at a speed that is only slightly slower than the approaching wave (which is hard and, once again, takes quite some upper body strength). But, if perfected the results are amazing. Imagine the amazing feeling you get when you’re free-falling from a bungee jump or skydiving from an airplane. Now remove the risk of death. Imagine the cold, ocean water splashing on you while wind gushes at you. It’s incredible. You can literally feel the acceleration and deceleration and the force of the wave constantly pushing against you, making you feel like natures engine is strapped to your legs.

Now don’t be satisfied with that thrill! It gets better. You still gotta stand up on your board! And this is where my exhilaration ends. Because I failed this part :P. When you’re being pushed from every direction by the wave under you, it’s actually hard to get up, especially since by then, your arms would be crying for a break with all that paddling you did earlier. The closest I got was on one knee and one foot, kinda like the ask-her-to-marry-me position. Close enough.

And now I’m hooked. Gosh, just when I thought I’d have some long overdue spare time now that those time-draining university classes have ended. I guess I’m going to blow all that time away on the beaches.