Feeling free on the waves

It’s pitch black outside. Most people are cozy in their beds, safe from the biting cold that signifies the coming of winter. The sun hasn’t woken yet. Outside, not even the crickets chirp. Most are still in deep sleep, dreaming about not going to school.

A group of adolescents, with sleep filled eyes, all manage to crawl out of bed. It’s only five o’clock in the morning. Why would anyone be up at this hour? For them, the answer is surfing.

Here in southern California, going to the beach is very common. What is not as common, however, is seeing a teen get up early in the morning, way before school even starts, to drive out to the beach to surf. “It’s better in the morning. There’s better conditions; less wind, less people,” John Warne, junior, said. This is dedication.

Warne started surfing about four to five years ago, and now surfs three to four times a week, never deterred by outside forces like weather if he can help it. Even sharks won’t stop him from doing what he loves.

A fellow surfer and friend of Warne’s, Jay Kimball, junior, also doesn’t allow sharks to scare him from his relaxation place. Kimball recalls the time when he “saw a shark one time attack a seal.” Although he was frightened, he soon forgot about it, as “the waves were pretty epic that day.”

Kimball also started surfing four to five years ago when his dad and his uncle, who “has been a big inspiration,” introduced the activity to him. Kimball surfs to improve, to try and beat his friends.

He wants to hopefully “build up, get better, so I can pass it on to my future kids.” The most important part to Kimball is “just trying to keep up with people out in the water around you, and having fun.”

Warne agrees, saying an important thing he believes about surfing is “just having fun and not caring. Just getting out there, even if you’re bad or good, and just having fun.”

Wally Thane, sophomore, also loves surfing. “It was just really fun and exciting, and I like being in the ocean,” Thane said. Often going right after school to the beach, he surfs “probably like four times a week, maybe more.”

To Warne, surfing is something “that you have to build, and it takes a lot of time.” But it is worth it when you can hang out with your friends while doing what you love.

And to Kimball, surfing is like an outlet, one where he can forget about life for a while and just have fun. “I feel relaxed, I feel like I don’t have to worry about anything else, school work or anything. It kinda just keeps things off my mind,” he said.

Another surfer who can wholeheartedly agree with this is Katie Rose, sophomore. “Surfing to me is when I get to escape from stress of school or anything, and just be myself… just be able to feel like I’m free and just enjoy life.”

Unfortunately with all of the homework that comes with sophomore year, Rose does not have many chances to escape to her haven nowadays. “I used to be able to go every single week, but now with school, I’ve been getting more busy, so I haven’t had much time, but I’ll usually go maybe twice a month at the least.”

For Rose, surfing not only acts as an outlet but also helps with manners. “I think the most important thing is to love and appreciate the ocean because it’s a very scary thing, and that you should respect other people and respect the ocean wherever you go,” she said.

Rose loves surfing so much because “it’s fun, and I love the ocean. It’s really thrilling, and it’s a great thing to do with friends.”

When she surfs, Rose feels as if everything is right with the world. “I get really happy inside especially if I haven’t gone in a while, because it’s just really fun,” she said. “Every wave that I’m on is just like a whole new experience, and I’m always in my happiest state of mind.”

Surfing is a sport that many can say is theirs, one that they enjoy a lot and benefit from. Surfing is what makes surfers who they are. Surfing is the time where they can be free, forget about their school and life troubles, and just let go.

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