On being goofy-footed

Today I had my second surfing lesson at Las Cuevas beach, Trinidad. The beach is a shallow cresent of bone coloured sand, a vast expanse of warm oyster-blue sea, shallow and flat for quite some time before the waves strengthen and turn into breakers. Lifesavers huts, lots of trees for shade.  To the west a small cove with colourful pirogues moored, bobbing in the sea. Above them some houses cling to the hillside, including a white villa, very prominent, said to be owned by the local drug lord. Great cafe, showers. Many stray pot houds (pronounced potongs here). People selling shell necklaces.  Much quieter than the nearby Maracas (throbbing dub, queues for shark and bake).

I went with Herman and Chris, two lithe forty-something surfersboys. They surfed. I read on the beach. Sex Matters – Sex and the Superconscious – by Osho. In parts this book is enlightening and brilliant. But mostly, also, mad and way too subjective for most modern Western scholars to consider seriously.

The surf school walked past, twenty or so apprentice surfers. Kids carrying huge boards. Rasta surfers, tattooed beatniks – you know the types. I thought they looked interesting. So when Herman came out of the water  and offered me another surfing lesson I jumped at the chance.

First a few tryouts on the beach – leaping from the sand up into a kind of kung fu pose. No – not  a kung fu pose. Herman shook his head. Just standing – side on – right foot forward. Putting your right foot forward is being Goofy-footed in surfiespeak.  Actaully, leaping from prone to upright is pretty hard when you are on firm sand – you do a sort of yoga salutation-splits movement to get upright.  But Herman was confident I would find the water version much easier.

I tied the rope around my left ankle and headed out. There were a few problems. My bathing suit got stuck to the waxy surface and peeled off. It was impossible to get past the white water while tugging at said suit. The board’s nose kept hitting me in the face. I clung to the board – like a bedraggled tree frog – just trying to stay on. I was tumbled over several times. Herman shook his head in quiet disbelief. I don’t think I made it into water more than waist deep before I noticed that the in-coming tide was washing away my towel and basket and book  – Sex and the Superconscious – back on the beach. I had to go in.  Herman took his board back and headed out.

I shall return and join the surf school.

I shall one day stand proud, and goofy-footed.


~ by moniqueroffey on January 12, 2009.

One Response to “On being goofy-footed”

  1. Given the recent chilling frosts and the about to be frozen sea here in West Wales UK a dip in the ocean had slipped down my ‘to-do’ list. Thank you for the sunshine…

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