Last weekend Curt bought me a long board and I got back in the water to surf for the first time in almost five years. It's hard for me to put into words how good it felt. How I could've ever left it so long. I only caught a few small waves and it will take me a while and a lot of practice to ride with anything resembling grace but I can't think of anything better than the journey to that point. It seems crazy to think that when I still lived in England I would drive for hours on end to get to the coast and that for the past couple of years we've been living almost right on the water and it's taken until now.
I suppose the all consuming nature of growing and raising little people just completely took over and when I was pregnant with Rose I sold my neglected board as we needed some extra money. I've long admired the elegance of long boarders, that dance along the board and the innate connection with and respect for the water beneath them. This time around I instinctively knew this was the way I wanted to go. A shredder I am not and never will be. Right now I'm so thankful for the chance- the board and the time- I've been handed and a husband who just knew it was exactly what I needed to do. Best of all has got to be that feeling of getting back a little but crucial piece of yourself that was lost, or at the very least well and truly buried.
Below is a short vide clip showing the beauty of long boarding at its very best, featuring renowned surfer Belinda Baggs and shot by Macauley Rae.
The top images are by surf film maker and photographer Nathan Oldfield. His blog Look and Sea is a great read for anyone with an affinity for waves and the ocean. His latest film, The Heart and the Sea, is definitely worth watching and beautifully explores the joy that lies at the very centre of a surfing life: family, friends and a shared intimacy with the sea. It premiered here in Torquay last month and Curt and I were lucky enough to get the chance to go and see it. Highly recommended.