How the bodyboarding changed my life... #The Accident

Sunday, November 17, 2013
A Series I'll be starting of how The Surfing and Bodyboarding lifestyle I lived during High School changed my life.


Going Back In Time ~~~~ February 2007 

I was 13 years old, new into High School and ready for the new “bigger” world to open up after I just finished Primary School. It was that time of my life that demanded that I try to “fit in” through good and bad, no matter what. 

One day, sometime during February I met up with some classmates after school at the Scottburgh beach, since that was the hangout spot for everyone and all the “cool” people was usually around the lifesaving area. 
Scottburgh Lifesaving Club

Now I was actually a super shy person, found it really hard to fit into the “surfing community” especially being from a fairly conservative Afrikaans family – or at least, I thought they were conservative. There’s a lot of truth about what we read and hear about surfers. Many of the stereotypes are true and many are not. And yes, grom-abuse is real, but luckily not as bad as in J-Bay or certain parts of Australia. – I’ll get back to that at a later stage.

Over time, of spending time on the beach and mostly just swimming in the ocean I finally bought an entry-level bodyboard and a pair of fins.

My very first session with my bodyboard and fins sure was a memorable one - well in a way. 

Walking towards the beach, one of the more experienced bodyboarders and classmate, Storm, pressured me into jump off point with him. Something I have never done in my life before, but I was up for it. I put on my fins and followed him further up the point. 

The jump at Scottburgh is pretty difficult compared to many other surf spots, as it requires good timing and judgement – and it all changes with the tides.
It was a pushing tide, which means the water got pretty high up to the rocks, so timing was crucial.

Scottburgh Point at Low Tide - Photo courtesy of Sean Meets

This is pretty much what I’m talking about. At High Tide, all those rocks gets covered by water and at low tide, it’s all exposed.

I got into the top part and watched how Storm jumped. It looked pretty simple. I walked down and saw a wave coming, which was my queue for the jump. As I walked down, my foot slipped within 2 seconds that huge wave came crashing against the rocks and washed my right off. The wave pushed me over reef, rocks and some mussel beds… I got up and saw I’m next to the easy exit gully. Luckily there weren’t any hectic currents so I could swim there easily. I got out and I just saw blood all over my legs and arms. Luckily Storm saw me bailing and caught a wave to check if I was still alive.  

After seeing that I look like a blood-factory, (honestly, I probably could've save someone's life with all the blood that was dripping down my legs) he walked me to the lifesaving first-aid room where my wounds got a little bit of treatment. 

I was so high on adrenaline that I didn't feel a bit of pain. Therefore, I wanted to go back into the water, till the lifeguard told me that I would be “Shark-bait” if I go into the ocean with all that open wounds. 

When I got home, my mum rushed to the pharmacy and bought like R400 worth of ointments and plasters. After my adrenaline stopped, the pain started and it hurt quite badly but nevertheless I was pumped, smiling and just wanted to tell everyone about what happened and how I “cheated death”..

I was back into the water 2 weeks later, for my real “first bodyboarding session” and more amped than ever.

The Lesson, I learned:  Don't let stupid mistakes put you off and stop you from ever trying again. I'm sure there's many people whom if something like this had to happen on his/her first surf, they would stop and never get back into the water again. NO REGRETS

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