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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Surfing: A worthwhile school substitute

The thought of skipping school in order to surf enticed me. As I waited for the rest of the of the Adventure P.E. students to arrive at the gym, I tingled and almost burst with laughter at the idea of surfing instead of studying.

We filed into three cars on Sept. 25 and soon after paused for a necessary jaunt at Starbucks along the way. Ordering was very tricky, as there were eight separate beverages and several parties paying. We ended up tipping the barista to compensate for the confusion.

The car ride was filled with giggles and chatter as the six of us girls and the two chaperones laughed and shared stories. After a bathroom stop at McDonald’s, the two and a half hour drive ended and we arrived at Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz.

Three Club Ed surf instructors greeted us with a welcoming ?hello.? We told them our height and weight and they accordingly gave us the appropriate sized wetsuits. The wetsuits were unflattering and extremely difficult to put on, as they were very tight on our bodies.

Next came the beachside lesson. The instructors showed us how to stand up when we caught a wave. They also taught us surfing etiquette, like how it is critical to get out of other surfers’ way after you ride a wave in.

With the fundamentals down, it was time to paddle out. I became tired and winded after just a few minutes of paddling, but kept a positive attitude and eventually reached the spot where all the waves were breaking.

As I waited for a good wave, the instructors belted out encouragements. They informed me of the right time to begin paddling and gave me a strong push to get me going. This extra acceleration helped my board catch onto the tiny waves.

The feeling of popping up ? and, better yet, staying up ? was exhilarating. I yelled “whoohoo!” as my wave came to an end and I sat clumsily down on my board. Then I had to paddle back to where my fellow surfers were waiting for waves, careful not to get in their way as they caught waves themselves.

After a while, I felt at ease from the scorching sun and wind. I felt as though I was on top of the world. The crashing waves provided a cooling sensation to counter the heat.

Two hours later, we headed back in. The instructors told us to paddle all the way back, as opposed to paddling in closer to the shore and then walking when our feet could touch the ground.

Even after paddling for what felt like an eternity, I was far from the beach and was in a state of physical lassitude. Some friends and I decided to paddle into the beach instead of paddling back the way the instructors told us to.

After reaching the beach, we still had a bit of walking to do, due to our prior decision. The blistering sand seared our shoeless feet; I panted for air and felt exhausted.

When we reached the lesson station, the instructors congratulated us and gave us a complementary T-shirt and an O’Neill poster. We washed out our wetsuits and parted ways.

My stomach ached with hunger, as none of us had eaten lunch and it was nearly dinner time. We hopped into the car and headed for Stagnero’s seafood restaurant: a real catch. The clam chowder, butter-dipped oysters and shrimp battered in coconut tasted scrumptious and filled our bellies with a healthier alternative to fast food.

After our delicious meal with dilatory service, we headed back to the car, ready to go home. This time the drive took nearly three hours and we were much less talkative. However, everyone agreed on one thing: the trip had been a blast.

I arrived back at school around 8:15 p.m. and was relieved to see my mother waiting in the parking lot. She drove me home and I immediately went to bed, ignoring my homework duties.

The next day, I realized how lucky I was to have had an opportunity to go surfing as a school activity. It is a novel rarity to be able to miss a day of school to go to the beach. The trip was an extraordinary experience and I am very fortunate to have been blessed with a safe, stupendous time.

It was fun and certainly enjoyable to be able to spend a day with peers instead of at school. Whereas a regular day would consist of incessant lectures and assignments, this day was relaxing and enlightening for each of the twelve participants.

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  • J

    Jessa SearlesMay 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    It is so awesome that Mr. Bennett is so supportive of and involved with the student body. It amazes me how much he truly wants us to succeed and how he will help us as much as he can to achieve our goals.

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