Is summer really over? Please say no, it’s only September first. But the rain and wind have started and so have my surf dreams. Of course they have – it’s 60 days and counting before I get back on the water. The dreams are early this year; usually they start in October when I am about four weeks away from being back on my board. The dreams are always the same: the last perfect wave that I caught, the feeling of flying down the face and the stoke I feel when I ride over the lip. Then I wake up and all I want is one more wave.
Was I always like this? No… the addiction started in 1998. I accept that I am an addict; I have all the symptoms. I become bitchy and moody when I am off the water for more than 24 hours, I am depressed if there are no waves, I go through serious withdrawal when I go back to the mountains, plus I spend a lot of money and sacrifice worldly comforts all to surf. I ask myself, why? Why do I surf? Why do I return to Sayulita to surf? Why?
The answer to why I surf lies in the stoke! What stokes a woman surfer? Size, and the bigger the better, baby! (I am not kidding!) I remember the day that I truly became a surfer because I caught my first overhead wave (being that I am only five feet tall, overhead really is not that huge, but it’s all relative). It was the first time I experienced surf stoke. It started with me swallowing my fear, turning around and paddling my guts out for a big wave, praying the whole time I was not going to get worked. Then the drop… all I remember was the holy @$%& feeling. Then it was perfect! I was totally and completely present – just me and Mother Ocean and no other thoughts, just total and complete bliss. The adrenaline kicked in after I rode over the lip and that’s when I became a junkie. But since then it has become so much more: a life transformation . . . a path to my purpose . . . a soulful sisterhood.The answer to why Sayulita is because it is a place of transformation. The energy in Sayulita is special – it is a place that will either make you or break you. Over the years I have kept coming back and each time I have either been broken, healed or have grown. Everyone always returns, usually exactly when they need to, because Sayulita gets into your soul and forms a place in your heart. There are many reasons but the truth is simple. I love it there.
Men and women surf for different reasons. I spend a lot of time surfing with the guys. I have to even though I have surf sisters – we’re still a minority on the water. The boys are great but surfing with them is different. It is more competitive with way more ego. I am not sure why a few of my buddies surf. I think some surf for the cool factor, some for exercise and some for the lifestyle. Women? Well it is always more complicated with us (right?). Why do we surf? It simply nurtures our souls.
As women we are meant to nurture, we are always taking care of others. When we surf, Mother Ocean takes care of us. Of all the sports and hobbies I have tired, even after 15 years of yoga, surfing is still the one thing that truly quiets my mind, tops up my cup and feeds my soul. My mind and body are not addicted to surfing, my soul is. When I surf with my sisters, it is all about the love of surfing and each other. Our egos check out pretty quickly and it becomes about the love. We encourage each other, watch out for each other and support each other. We also cheer, swear and cry, but most of all we laugh! I have many lifelong girlfriends, but my surf sisters are at a whole other level. The bond I share with them is not about how long we have known each other; it’s about what we share with each other. My surf sisters know me better than anyone else because they see the true me, they see my soul and they nurture it. This is why the S.S.S. (Sayulita Surf Sisters) surf and return to Sayulita every winter. We come to be nurtured by Mother Ocean and our soul surf sisters.
For all those women out there learning to surf:
I honour your spirit, I understand your fear and I encourage you to keep at it! If you do your life will evolve into something so amazing and become more than you could ever imagine; I promise you too will find your stoke!
My Personal Top Five Things to Do in Sayulita
- Surf with Surf if Out! I love Risa and Diego. For anyone learning to surf or wanting to go on a great surf adventure and learn about all the cool breaks, this is the team to contact! Book in advance – they are popular because they are awesome.
- Do a yoga class! After your first few sessions those sore shoulders and neck muscles will need a good stretch. The only place to bend over and do the splits is at Parasio Yoga. All the teachers are great but if you can attend a class with the owner, Narayani, you will go to a whole other level in your practice!
- Grab your morning smoothie on the way to the break at Smoothies Mi Buen! Ask for the Marjie Martini “especial rojo,” it’s my personal favourite. Beets, cranberry, Jamaica and lots of other yummy stuff.
- Drink a REALLY GOOD Margarita! Well, I have tried pretty much every single margarita in town and have two suggestions! El Costano – they are HUGE and we still don’t know exactly what they put in them but you will not be able to surf the next day. And Estela Roof Top Bar – they make the most flavourful margaritas with the freshest ingredients and the sunset is amazing. After the margarita, the place to go and hang with the locals is Sayulita Public House. You never know what is going to happen there, it could be a hockey game or a dance party!)
- Eat a freakin’ amazing TACO! Tacos Ivan! These are the ones I drool over days before I get on the plane! Nothing even comes close to this experience.