This week marked the high point of my surfing career. National titles and representing our country have been incredible but suddenly overtaken by the greatest surfing moment I have ever experienced. I have ridden classic surf of all sizes across the globe, however it was a Monday afternoon at Muizenberg that I will never forget.
As a surf instructor I am asked the question all the time. “When should our child start surfing” my answer is “at about 3 years old or when they feel comfortable in the water.” Our son Daniel has just turned two and loves the ocean. He runs in fully clothed at every opportunity and has done so from the first day he learnt to walk. We decided to put his wetsuit on and take the surfboard down to the beach to see what would happen.
What followed surprised me as well as everyone watching. He spent time picking up shells and throwing sand as most toddlers would do…but then he decided to pick up the surfboard leash and begin pulling the board to the waters edge. He proceeded to jump onto his surfboard and point towards the ocean.
We walked out to chest depth and turned to catch a wave. I was shortly reprimanded with a mighty “NO” and fingers pointing out to deeper water. We went through more foamies than I can count and I was met with such joyous laughter. When the time came to catch our waves, the euphoric two-year-old rode all the way to the shoreline where I promptly received an enormous high five. The stoked surf grom was quickly back on his board pointing out to sea with shouts of “more, more, more”.
On the drive home I asked Daniel who was the best surfer today, to which I got a very proud reply “Baba”. There is certainly truth behind the old saying that “you are never too young or too old to start”.