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Raglan, New Zealand

Posted on 11 July 2017 by Lyndsey Stoodley

This is another example of a post surf journal entry.  This time from New Zealand where I was just starting to build my confidence back up.   This differs to the Australian experience as the beach was very sparsely populated and the pressures faced were therefore very different.

Work station for the week. Solscape Hostel


Raglan, Weds 1st March

The wave that made me swear

I went down to the beach to try and catch the end of my room mates lesson. She had said that they were progressing and as I was lacking in confidence I thought it would be good to figure out where they were paddling out and try and surf close by so I wasn’t alone in the water. The sand is black at raglan, so even though the water is very clean and clear, its dark and I’m a wimp with an imagination so of course there are sea monsters lurking, waiting to tickle my toes or eat me. I liked the idea of crashing their lesson a bit. Turns out they got the tides wrong and it was all a bit of a mess. I did find them easily enough, and caught some reformed waves which were fun. I am getting annoyed with myself for not pushing it more though, so when a rip and a lull made getting out back easy I went for it, kind of without even realising. Which was probably a good thing cos I would have panicked and caught the first thing I could back into the whitewash and annoyed myself even more. So I’m out back, realise this and stop for a while to enjoy my surroundings and the calm. See, when you’re battling white water cos you’re too scared to paddle out properly theres no time for calm contemplation, theres wave after wave breaking on or near your head and its get over them or give up and ride it in with the false justification of trying to practise something or another. So I was looking around and without too much thought (it must have been none cos I wouldn’t have gone otherwise) I paddled into the first decent size wave I’ve attempted to catch in years. And I caught it. And I made the drop and bottom turn, rode it right and felt like I was surfing. I’d finally stepped out of that restrictive comfort zone I have created for myself, and all the excuses that go with it and I caught a real wave. I was so surprised to have caught it that for much of the experience I was swearing. Just one long swear. It was the shock. I think the little kid that popped up nearby was possibly also a little shocked.  I caught a few more after that over on a different section of the beach. None that made me swear again, but I left the beach feeling like I’d achieved something.

After my sweary wave session, I went back to the hostel and worked, before going for an ice cream and then to a meeting.  All good but needed to regroup so took myself and the others to the beach for a sunset (ish) swim. Then we went for pizza and I took so long choosing which beer to get that my toes went numb from being in the cold room. Worth the wait though and was happy with my choice.

So you’d think with my rediscovered adventurous spirit I’d be right back out there to get the next sweary wave. Wrong. I had a work morning, a skype interview, a lazy lunch and then finally made my way to the beach. Frustrated at being bitten by these weird little black sand bugs, I got assertive and went to uni for a seminar, via the library where I was able to pick up my library card with just one day left in New Zealand.

Whale Bay