- Baleal Surfing Camp: Day 1
- Weather: 70 degrees, overcast with a short rain sprinkle while surfing
Baleal Surfing Camp is in the heart of Peniche, Portugal’s world famous surfing beaches. Our instructors come from France, New Zealand, Brazil, and Africa. The 15 students from Luxembourg, Germany, India, China, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, USA.
Morning Lesson: Safety, centering on board, straight arm position, paddling, pop-up (standing on board).
Moans and groans were the collective sound as we squirmed into our wetsuits. It felt like putting a square peg in round hole. With top halves of our suits dangling from hips, the instructors moved about helping us. Their exposed arms and shoulders spoke of the strength needed for surfing. These men were ripped.
Stressing the importance of waterproof sunscreen can’t be overstated. Instructor Dorian had his face totally masked in vivid blue appearing like a character from Braveheart. He held up EQ Stick Soliare waterproof sunscreen, an essential under intense Portugal sun. The vivid blue color was optional.
Morning classes went so well I contemplated where I could keep my own surf board…in basement, in the garage.
Afternoon Lesson: Pop-up
Like Geisha women, Elsa and Yuchen arrived for afternoon class with their faces completely masked white with sunscreen. Each cheek was finished with whimsical turquoise circles. They could have easily passed as mime entertainers.
Afternoon class dissolved all the successes of morning’s class. How hard could a three step to pop-up be? First, hands on board. Second, łeft foot on board. Three, swing right foot forward on board. My right leg would not move forward onto the board. Mentally I could isolate the hip flexor but it wasn’t receiving the brain waves to move. It was as if the leg became paralyzed. With each attempt to get on the board, I tumbled in the water.
All thoughts of a surf board standing in my basement dissolved. Have I peeked out after the first lesson?
I literally ran into Radoslav in LIsbon. I recognized his profile from his surfing past me so many times. Serendipity.