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Los Angeles


Surfs Up

By Anna O’Brien

November 2019

As soon as I was accepted into the SULA program, I had numerous people ask me if I would be surfing during my time in California. First, I thought that was such a weird question but then I would always chuckle in response – I am the least coordinated, most unbalanced person I know. Up until a few weeks ago this was my mindset; it wasn’t until I visited Santa Monica beach where I saw countless surfers having a blast out in that crystal blue roaring water that I knew I needed to learn to surf!

Yesterday I had my first ever surfing lesson. I made this experience into a mini daycation and drove to Huntington Beach – the surfing capitol of America – and had one of the greatest days of my life. It was tough at first, I spent nearly 20 mins pulling on the tightest wetsuit that ever was and then the instructor handed me my board for the day. Carrying those surf boards is not nearly as easy as one may think. We spent the next thirty minutes going over technique, safety drills, and proper stretches. Now, it was time to hit the water.  Like I said earlier, I am the least coordinated, unbalanced person I know so the first hour of attempts was fails. I would stand up and immediately smack off into the tumbling water. It was difficult and the waves were coming at me hard and fast. By the second hour, I had finally mastered the waves. I would paddle my arms as the waves roared towards me and pop up as if I had been surfing my entire life. Riding the wave is a feeling like no other. I will forever cherish the day I learned to surf because it not only was the greatest feeling accomplishing such a feat, but it was a great reminder to me that as my semester in Los Angeles continues, no matter what waves come my way I can and will be able to ride them. (Picture below: Me on the left)