Water has always been part of my life from a very young age. Whether it was a creek, the Gulf of Mexico, the Long Island Sound, or the Pacific Ocean. But it wasn't until my 50s and living in Southern California that I took up surfing! I wouldn't call myself a surfer, but I would categorize myself as a Stand Up Paddle Boarder who loves to SUP Surf! Stand Up Paddle Boarding has opened up so many opportunities for me to be on the water. Would I have ever tried surfing with out paddle boarding first, it's hard to say. Paddle boarding has giving me the confidence to go on the ocean and enjoy and explore its beauty! SUP surfing was naturally the next step for me to transition into. As I spend more time on the water, I feel the need to keep learning and exposing myself to different ways to become a better water woman. So, let's go learn to prone surf!
Pacific Beach Surf Shop has been open since 1962! It is the oldest surf school in San Diego. It's located right on the beach along the famous Pacific Beach boardwalk. Randy Strunk is the owner, manager, and sometimes surf instructor for his PB Surf Shop. I met Randy through paddle boarding! He is truly a great waterman. Not only does he surf but he is a traditional prone paddle boarder, and paddles outrigger canoe. I knew our lesson with Randy's shop would be nothing but awesome! PB Surf Shop has some very talented and knowledgeable surf instructors. We were fortunate to have Josh as our instructor. He is from Australia and has been surfing his whole life. He loves being in the ocean and gave all of us some great instruction!
Surfing is not easy! The women and men out there doing it make it look like it is! First the foam boards you use for learning to surf are pretty heavy-heavier than my SUP surfboard. But when you are first learning its good to go on a bigger board. Popping up or standing up on a surfboard is harder the older you get. The two younger women I was with did it with ease. Probably the most tiring and hardest part of surfing is paddling back out through the white wash. My arms were so tired after our surf session. I definitely wished I had a paddle to paddle back out! According to Randy, prone surfing will make me a better sup surfer, and I believe that's true. I just love that surfing gives me another way to play and be on the ocean!
So get out there-Try new things-Go Surf!
PC Jonathan Halvorson, PB Surf Shop