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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Body Boarding: Reflections on Being Cool and Not Cool, on Having Fun and Not Caring

Dwayne Body boarding at Hermosa beach.

How do I explain this? If you are really cool, you surf. If you're a kid, you boogie board. If you're from So. Cal., you surf. If you're a transplant, you boogie board.

"Uh Christin, boogie boarding is what kids call it," my So. Cal. boss once told me with a sardonic grin. "If you're over twelve, you 'body board.'"

But really there's not difference between what I do on a boogie board and what a kid does. Surfing takes athleticism and real skill. You have to have balance, strength, and speed. Body boarding, on the other hand, is easy. You just plop your body onto the board and let the waves carry you in. That's what kids do.

I have seen a native Californian "body board," as it were. And it was pretty impressive. Dwayne and I stood on the peer and watched as he bounced along the waves with the surfers. When he caught the crest of one, he popped up on one knee, as if he were proposing to the ocean, and rode almost to shore before skillfully dismounting the wave.

After three summers of body boarding, I still can't dismount the waves. I end up riding all the way onto the sand like a beached seal. More often then not, I end up scrapping my knees and writhing around in the sand trying to get up. Just the other day I slid onto the beach, only to find myself blinking at two sets of veiny feet. I looked up to see two tanned, very cool, frat guys looking down at me. Yeah, there's no cool way to roll off your boogie board.

All that to say, Dwayne and I love body boarding! We know we're not cool, but we have tons of fun doing it. And until either of us learns how to surf, we'll just keep riding the waves home on our little neon orange and blue boards!


Blogger Amy said...

Steve and I discovered the joys of body boarding in June on the East Coast--so fun! I bet it's great out or not :)

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Sarah F. said...

I remember standing on the pier with Jeff & Dwayne watching the body boarders on one side and the surfers on the other. Apparently the pier was the dividing line of coolness. Maybe some day you guys will cross that line, but for now it never hurts having fun where you're at. :)

12:50 PM  
Blogger Annie Wright said...

"Yeah, there's no cool way to roll of your boogie board."

If you promise to hold my hand, maybe I'll try it on Saturday.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Heidi Bird said...

haha that was nice seeing Dwayne body boarding. Christin i'd probably flop around too if i were to try body boarding haha. It looks fun though! :)

9:15 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Ok, one quick 5 hour flight to Hawaii, and the amazingly uncool beginner surfer will give you guys free lessons.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Christin said...

Amy - I've always wondered about surfing and body boarding on the east coast! Was the water nice and warm? The warmest it ever gets here is around 70 degrees.

Sarah F. - Dwayne just went down to the pier with two other guys to go b-boarding yesterday morning. They said the waves were brutal. One guy got his board snapped in two. The water was around 7 feet deep, and Dwayne said a couple of waves just pushed him all the way down onto the sand and held him there. I can't believe he did that! I'm so glad he came back safe!

Annie - I'm so proud of you my sister! You did great!

Heidi - You and Lee need to come out and visit Dwayne and I! We'll take you b-boarding so you can try flopping around for yourself.;-)

Tim - Don't even tempt us....;-)It's great to see your life in Hawaii! Dwayne and I definitely need to make that 5 hr flight, someday!

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonjour, je m'appelle James et je suis english, I love to body board. There is more than catching a wave and riding it in, it takes skills to learn to catch a tube, do fancy flips. But for people that think it's not cool are usually the people standing on the beach watching you, Who are the people having fun? the people standing watching you or the people with small kind of surf board who would like to surf but can't?
Recently I have been to Cap de l'Homy (FRANCE, Atlantic coast) Where I shared the waves with surfers, body boarders, body surfers
where we all respected each others, there were never a problem or a Dull moment. So grab a board of any kind, grab a body, don't be a person sitting on a beach watching everybody else. Amusez-vous bien, soyez cool.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are all idiots
this isnt true bodyboarding, and real bodyboarders are much harder than surfers, were the fucking bees knees.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Liam said...

Hahaha youll get better someday. And bodyboarding is the shit. It is the best fun ever and I love it. Even if its not "Cool."

You shoulda knockd those stupid frat boys out..
noones messes with us...

3:51 AM  

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