“The fish are more afraid of you than you are of them.” I repeated this about 900 times while I thought of all the sea creatures in the Caribbean sea that might touch me (eek). Even though I was nervous to try surfing for the first time, I was still determined to surf the beautiful water in Barbados for my surf lesson with Ride The Tide Surf School Barbados.
I had never been surfing before, but learning to surf has always been on my bucket list, and what better place than one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world! Barbados is perfectly located wayyyy out in the ocean allowing waves to travel hundred of miles and then unload their power along the coast making it an awesome place for beginning, intermediate, and advanced surfers to ride the tide!
Ride The Tide Surf School is well known for being professional, knowledgeable, fun, unique, friendly, and pleasant! They have a reputation of exceeding expectations and being one of the best surf schools in Barbados. They are a mobile surf school, which means they use only the best breaks for surfing!
Before entering the water, our instructors, Jay and Noah, gave a quick and concise beach brief on basic surfing techniques. They also gave us lycra surf jerseys and sunscreen (safety first!). After we tried the techniques on shore a few times it was time to head into the water!
As everyone knows, I am totally scared of fish or any type of sea life touching me, so as I walked into the ocean I was constantly scanning making sure there weren’t any little fish near me (and there wasn’t). But, I still felt relieved once we were out far enough in the water to climb on the board and paddle the rest of the way.
With our instructor Noah on the board next to us, we paddled out a little further where the waves were. The water was beautiful. I was so excited, yet nervous, to learn to surf, so when Noah asked for a volunteer to go first I raised my hand. There were 2 kids out there catching waves like professionals with Jay, so I knew if they could do it I had nothing to worry about. After he adjusted my GoPro, gave my board a little nudge forward, and told me to start paddling I knew it was about to get real! (side note: Ride The Tide Surf School films each surfer on a GoPro for free so you can share the footage with friends/family and relive those awesome surfing moments, how cool!?!) At that moment I became super present, everything around me disappeared and it was only me and my board, I didn’t even think about the fish that I was so worried about at the beginning of the lesson.
& I was off riding the tide.
I couldn’t believe it! I was actually surfing and not falling! & most importantly, I wasn’t afraid anymore, it was so much fun! It was exhilarating, and honestly, when you’re seeing progress it makes it a lot more fun. “We teach you how to surf, not how to fall” Jay joked when I told him how surprised I was at how long I was able to stay on the board.
I knew my form wasn’t the best on my first wave, so on my second wave I was determined to do better. As with all surf lessons at Ride the Tide, our group lesson was small so our instructor was able to give us high quality coaching, feedback, and encouragement after each wave. “Take your time, keep your head up, eyes ahead, and bend the knees.”
Surfing is so much fun, but it is physically demanding. After riding each wave to the shore, we had to turn around and paddle back to where the others were. After a few times of doing this my arms were tired. As a testament to Ride The Tide’s dedication to exceeding expectations and going above and beyond, Jay and Noah noticed I was exhausted so at 2 separate occasions they both swam out to where I was and told me to relax and hold on to their board while paddling the both of us out to meet up with others. After that quick break I was ready to catch another wave.
I could feel myself progressively getting better after each wave. By the end of the lesson I was obsessed with surfing, I was already thinking about buying a board and surfing as soon as I got back to Florida. All I wanted to do was talk about surfing, show my pictures, and tell everyone how awesome the instructors Jay and Noah at Ride the Tide Surf School were.
I’m so glad I didn’t let my fear of fish hold me back. Getting out of our comfort zones to try new things is very important and it can also be very rewarding!
If you want to learn to surf and make the most of your trip to Barbados, visit Ride The Tide Surf School! The instructors were awesome, provided constructive feedback, and were very friendly. Most importantly, I don’t have an athletic bone in my body, so it definitely says a lot about them since they were able to teach me how to surf! Can I call myself a surfer now? Either way, I love surfing!