Read an Excerpt
A Few Words about the Book from Your Devoted Divas
This book, Surf Diva: A Girl's Guide to Getting Good Waves, is more than a how-to guide for women's surfing. It's a look into a lifestyle and a milestone for women that until very recently was, and in many ways still is, as underground as they come. This book is also meant to be an introduction to some of the finer points of being a Surf Diva, meaning that after reading it you will have knowledge and insights about the skills that will keep you confident both in and out of the water. This guide will cover most of the basics of surfing, dish on some diva secrets, talk diva story, and dive into ways that surfing will improve your life. Diva-ness is required at all times while reading this book.
So ladies, get your lattes ready, lay out that silk sarong in the sand, and don't forget the huge sunglasses and glitter sunscreen to complete the diva reading technique. If no sand is available, this book will make great reading either on a plane heading to warm tropical water or while toning up in preparation for warm tropical waves. An oversized Jacuzzi tub will also work in a pinch.
Now although waves had to be sacrificed to give us the time for research and writing (as you can't paddle and type at the same time), this guide is intended as a gift to women everywhere who want to kick ass in the water. Sharing our passion for surfing is something that we love. When we teach someone to surf, we put our hearts and souls into it, so we feel like this book is our offering to you because we have a real desire to help you learn.
To our (not so) gentle readers: Take this book and use it to improve your quality of life. Even if you only surf once, know that the lessons we learn from the ocean stay with us forever. You'll learn this firsthand when you see your first sunset as you sit on your board waiting to catch a wave. When you're in the water and the sun is going down, it's like you become part of the sunset with its color all around you, and the liquid gold water becomes a cold Corona on a hot summer beach day. Fish tacos taste better after a two-hour surf session. Reggae music and Jack Johnson sound so right. And eventually, when all this sinks in, you may find yourself asking the question: Why are surfers some of the coolest people around? (Or do we just think we're cool because we're giddy with low blood sugar and hypothermia?) And why are surfers the most beautiful people in the world? The guys in the International Male catalogs are in great shape, but why is it that they just don't compare to the guys in the lineup? There is something special about surfing and the way it becomes him. Or her.
Unfortunately, until recently women's surfing has not been a widely accepted sport. Very few of us have mastered surfing (if the sport can ever be mastered), and the few that have are a small, eclectic group who have paid some major dues and had some fun along the way. But that is what makes surfing so great. If it were always safe and easy, the challenge and prestige of being an accomplished surfer would not be as awesome. The fact that surfing can be dangerous puts those of us who surf on a different plane than most people who golf or go bowling. If people consider golf-ing to be a sport, then we say so is shopping. How hard is it to hit a ball around some grass, compared to fighting for parking during a big sale? But let's also be realistic: If we could also golf, we'd be the ultimate divas. Most surfers are just out to have fun, and maybe get some sun and a little exercise. Risking our lives is not always the point. If we want to be scared, we'll just hop on the freeway, thanks.
What It Means to Surf
Surfing is good for the soul. We surf for the privilege of sometimes only catching one wave in a two-hour session. Surfing might be the only sport where we adapt to what nature offers us. Since every wave is unique, we are required to adjust our approach, timing, and ride strategy for each wave. No two rides are ever the same! Being a surfer can mean dragging your longboard down a cliff on a goat trail, across a quarter mile of cobblestone beach, and around a jagged reef to ride three-foot closeouts. It can mean paddling for thirty minutes straight and hardly advancing on a big day. Being a surfer means not giving up.
Learning to surf can sometimes mean not catching any waves at all. Many days will include mostly paddling and trying to make it to the outside. This is okay. We strengthen our bodies, work hard, build upper body strength, and learn to time the sets. Putting that together with a good duck dive or turtle roll is priceless when it comes to surfing consistently.
A word about how you might feel at the end of the book: Sometimes it's hard, as a surfer, not to feel a sense of superiority over the nonsurfing "land-dwelling" masses. Not that we are in any way better people, but that we are somehow enlightened. We are in on a big secret: the best way to live. We know that our sport is so much more than just a sport. It doesn't bother us if people think it's just a pastime or useless hobby, or not as legitimate as football or basketball, because we know the truth. A very successful pro baseballer friend of mine once told me that baseball was his job, surfing his passion.
What makes it so cool? It's free. It's fun. It's fresh. It's freaky. It's fanatical. It's funky. It's flavorful. It's freakin' rad! Besides, we can't shop all day long, can we?
Copyright © 2005 by Isabelle ("Izzy") Tihanyi and Caroline ("Coco") Tihanyi
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc.,
6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.