My first surf lesson in Murud
Being a 21-year-old broke guy doesn’t give you much access to enjoy the finer (read: expensive) things in life, like traveling to an exotic place like Bali and click nice pictures to post on social media so that everyone knows you’re having the time of your life. So when I started interning at this startup that wanted to make extreme sports mainstream and make it more accessible to the public, I imagined there would be additional perks that I would get to enjoy. And sure enough, my expectations were met sooner rather than later when I hopped on for my first surfing lesson in Murud.
The founder, my boss Avi, asked me to come along with him on a weekend trip to a desolate village called Murud to surf. Long story short, this is my attempt at recounting my first ever surfing experience, with the intention to make it sound so desirable that you, the reader, would be tempted to try it out for yourself, and I want that only because I feel everyone should experience a healthy dose of adrenaline rush once in a while, and not because I want to promote my company through subtle advertising or anything hehe.
So surfing in Murud, there I was, all set to do an adventure sport for the first time and a 5 hour train journey, two rickshaw rides, a bus ride and a car ride later, I reached the destination. Getting to the place was a task in itself and unfortunately (or not), the weather condition was pretty bad to be able to surf right away, owing to the torrential downpour. The rain lashed away for the entire evening, which meant we stayed holed up in our hotel room, hoping the sky would clear up the next day. Prayers were answered and ‘Praise the lords’ were muttered when we woke up to a bright and sunny day. That is when I saw the scenic beauty which surrounded this town. Mountains, forests, beaches and amazing waves, Murud had it all. Operation Surf Time was on! We were joined by Nico (an Italian), Simon (a Briton) and Jonas (a German). They were the ones who contacted us saying they wanted to go Surfing in Murud on the weekend, so the entire trip was made possible because of them.
After a quick breakfast, we got in our car and headed towards the glorious beach. Being from Mumbai, I was not accustomed to seeing clean beaches, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the huge stretch of sand devoid of any stray plastic pieces or litter. We took our surfboards on the beach and Avi started showing me and Jonas the right way to get up on the board whilst riding a wave. The technique was somewhat similar to doing a ‘Suryanamaskar’, and we practiced it for around 15 minutes before going into the water.
The waves were pretty mellow at first so I decided to ambiently float about, pretending to be a hotshot CEO on a vacation in Hawaii and forget about all my supposedly corporate problems. After half an hour of lazing about, the waves started to pick up. The other three dudes had already started surfing in the distance, making it seem much easier than it was. Deciding it was time for me to get in on the action, I waited for an oncoming wave that was sufficiently large and when it came, I started paddling furiously like Avi had instructed me to. When the wave caught up to me and lifted the board, I made a valiant effort to stand up, only to come crashing down in two seconds flat. Realizing that there was much more to it than meets the eye, I persevered and continued trying.
On my fourth attempt, I was able to stand up on the road while riding a wave for 4 whole seconds!! The joy I felt at that moment, oh boy. In the subsequent two hours of surfing, I stood on the board a total of 3 times, each for about 3-4 seconds. Just as we were about to call it a day, I went in for one last try. I went a little deeper into the sea and prepared myself for a huge wave and when I saw one coming, I felt like the entire two hours I had spent practicing had culminated into this one moment. I started paddling at a steady pace and when the wave picked me up, I stood upon the board in one swift motion and with uncanny balance and coordination, I rode the wave for 6 whole seconds! It may not seem like a lot, but when you are standing on a board riding a wave at full speed, six seconds is a LOT of time, especially when you yourself expect to fall in three seconds. I even swerved left and right in those six seconds like how those skateboarders do. It was one of those rare moments in my life when I felt unmitigated euphoria, where the expression ‘my heart soared’ comes to mind. I also had a small revelation at that moment (yeah a lot happened in those six seconds) where I realized that with a little bit of practice, we really can do anything we set our mind to, and I realize it’s a bit of a cliché and all but it felt very poignant to me.
Almost numb with exhaustion but contented nevertheless, we left for our hotel, with a promise to return soon. The return journey was a single car ride and a smooth one at that. As there wasn’t much traffic, we made it home within six hours, reaching the end of one of the most memorable weekends of mah life. Two thumbs up for the surfing lesson in Murud. Jai Hind.
To book your first surf lesson, click here