Little Surfer Dudes

As excited as I was to get back on a surfboard, I was more excited for my kids to try surfing. I didn’t want them to be like me and take up surfing late in life. I wanted them to learn while they were young, while they still had all the advantages of low center of gravity, flexibility and fearlessness.

We had talked about it briefly a few times before our trip. Jasper’s answer typically was a non-committal shrug of the shoulder while Everett typically gave me a death stare as if how could I even dare ask him such a crazy question.

I knew from our experience with swimming and skiing that we should not push the issue but that we should give up either.

j on surfboard
We didn’t really talk about it much until the day or two before the lessons were scheduled. We showed the kids some videos, trying to convince them that “this will be so fun!” I struck a deal with Jasper that he just had to try a surfing lesson once and if he didn’t like it, he didn’t have to try again. Everett remained unconvinced.

On the beach, we met Rosie – a sweet girl in her early 20s who would be the boys’ teacher. She told me that she would ride tandem with Everett while Jasper would be on his own board. Then, she began her lesson, explaining to Jasper how to paddle, how to pop-up on the surfboard and how to stand.

kids on surfboard
That was followed by a few other lessons and warning.

“When you’re done riding a wave, just turn the board around, get back on and paddle back out again.”

“Don’t stand on the coral or kick too hard. You could hurt your foot.”

“If you’re standing on the board and you see someone coming towards you, just try to go the other way. Don’t look at them because then you will go straight into them.”

“If you fall off your board, just cover your head.”

kids surf lesson

I swear, she bombarded him with a ton of information within a span of 5-10 minutes. I could see a bit of fear and apprehension begin to creep into his eyes. I could feel his body start to curl inward with doubt and sink deeper into the sand. Meanwhile, Everett started reiterating to me that he was not going to go surfing.

All I could think was that this wasn’t going to go well.

E surfing

It was time for me to go with my instructor. I gave them both kisses on the top of their heads.

As I paddled out, I looked back and saw them – Rosie and Everett on one board and Jasper on a separate board. As my own anxiety about being in the open water started to surface, and my heart sank to the pit of my stomach.

OMG what am I doing? How could I leave my kids like that? At least Everett was in a life jacket.

I wanted to think that it was all in my head and that the kids would be fine. I did not want to doubt their abilities. I didn’t want to project my fear and anxiety onto them. After all, Rosie has taught lots of kids to surf. She knew what she was doing. Right??!

J surfing no hands

I was really scared that something would happen and then I was really scared about how Jasper would handle himself or if he would be able to. I mean, I was scared. Wouldn’t the boys be scared too? I tried calculating in my head how quickly I would be able to get from where I was to the shore in case something happened.

As I sat out the back and waited for a wave, I scared the water in search of the boys. When I saw them, I saw that all three of them – Rosie, Jasper and Everett – were all on the same board together. Thank goodness. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. And when I looked at them, they only had smiles on their faces.

kids surfing
When we got back to the beach, they couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had, even when they wiped out. Everett kept telling me over and over how when another instructor passed by she said, “Looking good 1 and 2!”

They were very proud of themselves.

We took the boys out surfing two more times and they each went out individually with Rosie to surf. They were a little more brave each time they went out in the water. Jasper kept wanting to go back out again and again.

I loved seeing their expression on their faces when they try something new, especially if it’s something that they weren’t sure if they would be able to do. I loved seeing their self-confidence start to grow.

They both already love being in the water but I hope that this brings a new dimension, love and appreciation for the ocean.

When we were at the beach in Hawaii, I noticed how all the kids played in the water on body boards and boogie boards and how they tried to body surf. I was struck by how at ease they felt in the water. They seem to have a completely different relationship with the water and ocean. There’s a big part of me that wishes that my kids will have a similar kind of relationship. Of course, there’s a bit part of me that hopes that they will continue to surf.

Read more about our trip to Hawaii:

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Comments

  1. Bron says

    How wonderful and exciting – I think you guys got it just right in the approach and look how well it went! Well done! Bron x

  2. says

    I don’t think there could be anything cuter than those pictures! I love that they gave it a go, especially that they did it a few times. I’m sure you just allowed them to put down some roots for a future love of the sport. Good for you.
    misszippy recently posted..A new running coach?My Profile

  3. says

    They are the cutest, coolest kids – ever!!! It’s so hard, as a mom, to let go or have your kids try things without your death grip on them. I’m proud of you for letting them do this and for letting yourself be scared. You’re a great mom and have two super kids to prove it.
    Allie recently posted..Tales from a Twin (Fit) PregnancyMy Profile

  4. says

    I love that even though they began tentatively, this had a “Happy ending.” Sometimes, all it takes is time…and an instructor other than mom! None of my kids could have learned how to swim from me – and definitely not surf! Their expressions are priceless by the way.

  5. says

    Love it!!! I’m glad that your boys tried it and had such a great time!!! It probably helped that they had a separate instructor working with them. Hopefully their next experience with surfing will be even better for them – they will be pros before you know it!!
    Kim recently posted..Oh, the People You’ll MeetMy Profile

  6. says

    I love that the boys enjoyed surfing so much and that they have such a degree of comfort in the water.

    Kids are so funny. It’s like the first time you leave them at day care or at school. They look so sad, or cry, or just scared to death and you feel so guilty, but as soon as you leave, they relax, basically forget all about you, and have a great time. Which is good!
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Pear Sports: The Ultimate Training AppMy Profile

  7. says

    I would have been scared watching from a distance, too! But wow- talk about parenting pride to see them follow through and do it, and actually enjoy it!! I love when my daughter takes risks she doesn’t think she can… such a cool experience and great way to build their self confidence.
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Yasso 800sMy Profile

  8. says

    That is so cool! I would love to take a lesson on surfing but I know I would suck at it. I’m not good with the whole “balancing” thing on earth…on a surfboard? Yeah…. ;)
    Lisa recently posted..Beach TownsMy Profile

  9. says

    What an amazingly beautiful place and amazingly awesome experience for your kids! They are so lucky to be able to try out such great things. I would have been a little worried too. New things are always hard and it can be tough when your little ones get frustrated. You must be so proud!

  10. says

    Love these little surfer dudes! So great that they are learning so young. I couldn’t help but think how symbolic your experience was of life with children in general. We push them to do things they fear, then we panic that we have pushed them too hard. They try, they succeed, we see they can do it, we see we can do it and we move on and grow. Lovely post:)
    Leah recently posted..Sharing Our Story On How We Blended Our FamilyMy Profile

  11. says

    LOVE this post!!! New favourite post! hehe. THe smiles on their faces, awesome! It is so good you are encouraging your boys to get out there and enjoy life. And to teach them water safety (and a love of the water) early! I grew up by the beach and I think it is sooo important to teach kids to respect and enjoy the surf, especially if they don’t get down there all the time.
    Jess recently posted..Misguided WorriesMy Profile

    • says

      I had a feeling that you might like this post :-)
      We talked about water safety a lot this summer and I made a point to try to talk to them about how powerful the ocean can be. Yet ironically, it was me who was the one who acted irresponsibly when I took the kids snorkeling. Oy.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Life Jacket RequiredMy Profile

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