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Surfing California waves

Ana alexander, 11

This past summer I traveled to California to go surfing. I wanted to go surfing because it would be a cool experience that would probably never happen again. I flew to California with my friend and her mom. I went with my friend Katja who is 10, almost 11 and her mother. Katja is a surfer. She used to live in California.

Surf camp started at 9:30 a.m. and went until 3 p.m. A wet suit was optional: they had one there if you didn’t have one. We went and bought one. It was pink and black. They are not hard to get into, but they are a little tight when you first get in it, but once it gets wet it is fine. You needed to pack lunch, a snack and a towel.

The surf camp was held right on the beach and they had tents set up. There was a blue tent for the boys and a red tent for the girls. There were a few houses on the beach. The beach was pretty big and a pretty famous beach. If you crossed the road, there was another blue tent set up. The helpers were up there and they would walk you down to the beach. The water was warm and the waves were bigger than Lake Superior waves, but not big enough to be scary. We got to see professional surfers and one time we saw a small dog surfing.

Every day we walked there with our swimsuits on, but we had clothes over them. We would change into our wetsuits when we got there. We had to wear our swimsuits underneath our wet suits. We were in between two lifeguard stations. When everyone was there we got started. There were about 10-12 kids in the surf camp.

We did a dry land practice first and it was separated into boys and girls and the girls did the dry land practice first, while the boys would go over and learn about the beach. For dry land training all the surfboards would be in a circle and you would practice standing up and being in the right position. We had to use foam boards so if you hit your head, it wouldn’t hurt as bad as the harder boards. One day we learned about the tides and another day we learned about the flags that tell whether it was dangerous or not.

When we were done with dry land practice then we would do the actual surfing and I got up every single time except for the first time. You had to get one foot in between the two pegs in the back and the other foot had to be in the middle of the surfboard and you had to bend your knees a little. Since Katja had already done it, she got up the first time. There was a person in front of you and they pulled your surfboard out and found you a good wave and then they would turn you around when it was time to go. Katja and I would always look at each other and hoped we would get the same wave. We had a few boys in our group and Katja, a boy and I all caught the same wave and we all got closer and closer to each other and almost collided, but we all fell off.

Then we would go play a game, like capture the flag on the beach and occasionally when we were bad they would make us run laps, which was really hard to do in the sand. If we were really good, we got to just play in the water for fun. They would give us a 30-second warning, and the last 10 seconds they would put up their hands and we would all run out of the water. Our instructor had a helper and the helper would stand to show us how far out we could go. If you saw brown in the wave, that meant that the water was churning and it could pull you out to sea. It was fun to feel the waves pushing and pulling you. It was kind of scary when you were out kind of far and a wave would go over your head and then it would push you under.

On the last day of surf camp they brought in a photographer and we got pictures of us surfing to take home. I would really like to go back to California and do surf camp again.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ana Alexander is 11 years old and in the fifth grade at Father Marquette Catholic Academy.