Te Kura

Captured by waves

20 May 2011

‘Yeeha,’ my brothers yelled, ‘Look at that one!’  I was out surfing with my brothers for the millionth time, and I was reminded of when I first rode a wave...

I was a full seven years old when my brothers took me ‘way out deep’, past the white foam to where the waves rolled in, sparkling blue and emerald in the sunlight.  I couldn’t touch the bottom and my tall brothers were in up past their chests.  Looking down I could see my shadow dancing on the ocean floor.

‘Are you ready’ they asked and I timidly replied ‘I think so.’  My teeth were already chattering, and I looked back at the wall of water rolling in towards me.  It was huge.

‘Just hold on tight and lean with the wave’, they said.  I took a deep breath, how did they know that the wave wasn’t going to push me off my board, rolling and rolling me in the foam, unable to reach the surface, unable to breath.

‘Ready, steady, here we go’, Ben shouted and Carl helped him push me off into the wave.

Pure fear.  ‘Hold on tight’ they yelled over the rush of the water but they needn’t have bothered; I was.
I gripped the board so tight my knuckles went white, my hands started to cramp and my wrists ached.

‘Lean into the wave!  Go forwards more on your board!’  But I was no longer listening.  I was flying.

Overcoming my fear in an instant, I skimmed over the water, shooting ahead of the wave, my board skipping over the ripples, sliding down the slope of the curling wave leaving behind me a widening wake. 

I bounced up and down as the wave crashed behind me, then shot forwards ahead of the foam, water spraying up into the sky and into my eyes, the droplets looking like diamonds as they fell.  I remember I rode that wave the whole way in, always ahead of the splashing foam, until I scudded to a stop on the gravelly sand.  The wave caught up with me and washed over my legs, warm and gentle.

‘Woohoo!’  I leapt up onto my feet and dragging my board behind me, raced back to where my brothers stood waiting to take me out again.

‘Yeya,’ Ben shouted and Carl agreed.  ‘That was awesome’.  I laughed and kicked, splashing water up in the air, I felt on top of the world.  ‘Are you ready for some more?’  With a grin I shouted back, ‘you bet!’

I guess that started it all and since then I have surfed so many different waves, in all kinds of weather, and at many different beaches.  I have also upgraded to body surfing using just flippers and myself. 

There is something about the beauty of the blue-green wave rising to me, which captures me.  It’s the power and force of it as you ride it to the shore, sliding swiftly along the wave, water droplets spraying up into your face, twinkling in the air as the sunlight captures them...

...’Go Mikayla.  It’s all yours!’
The shout broke me out of my reverie, and I kicked-off just in time to catch the beauty wave which had formed behind me.  It surged behind me and I swept forward, speeding over the surface, skimming over the ripples, the wind in my ears, spray in my face.

By Mikayla Jaunay