I’ve always possessed a desire to get heavily involved in water sports. I love body surfing and boogie boarding, general futzing around in the ocean. Problem is I turn into a huge pussy when I get into water that I can’t stand in. They say “Respect the Ocean” but I straight up fear it, which has proved problematic to my water sports career.
Ashley bought a Groupon for paddle board lessons, as she is won’t to do, from Hawaiian Surf Adventures on a recommendation from our first point of contact out here. We took the bus that never seems to be on time and was again late over to the shopping center. Picked the wrong stop again so we had to walk half a mile on the highway with cars screaming past us. Normally this wouldn’t bother me but on an island full of mostly Asian drivers I was…nervous.
The walk was short and intense but we made it. Walked into the wrong rental place then made our way to Hawaiian Surf Adventures. Our paddle board instructor and current friend, Sasha, was very cool right off the bat. She’s been traveling the world surfing and writing about surfing for year, had some knowledge of the awful traffic on the East Coast which we bonded over. She was and continues to be very easy to get along with and an awesome person in general.
I helped her load up the truck and we were on our way. As we arrived at the bay to start our adventure, our fortune with the weather could not have been better. There wasn;t a single ripple across the bay area, no wakes from boats and the wind was uncharacteristically calm. If there was any a time to learn paddle boarding this day was it. I chose a narrow board because I wanted to look experienced and also because I am not a very smart man. That’ll come into play later.
Sasha explained the dangers of the Ocean in general along with how coral and sea urchins will cut you up like a Puerto Rican if you fall into it. She was a little too thorough in her descriptions of danger which led Ashley to thinking there were sea urchins waiting to kill her around every corner, she can fixate on things like that.
Learning to stand up was pretty simple, as was learning to paddle even though I still overthought both things and ended up being a little shaky. This was also due to the narrow board and my general inexperience on surfboards of any kind. The first 0.5 miles went off without a hitch, I was angry that Ashley looked way more comfortable on her board than I did on mine. I was also slightly nervous after the coral pep talk. At about the halfway mark, we saw a sea turtle, which Sasha explained was a sign of REALLY good luck.
That could not have been more wrong. I wanted to believe and am slightly superstitious, but about 2 minutes after the turtle sighting a boat flew past, wake and all, and I fell directly onto my testicles.
Since I was already feeling inadequate from my inability to grasp the paddle boarding concept, I tried to play it off like I didn’t just squash my balls with 175 pounds of man. But as any man will tell you, the pain from your hairy bag being even slightly tapped will send you into spasms on the ground. I recovered better than I thought by sitting and paddling for a while. Since I was now behind Ashley and Sasha they didn’t notice for a while. The burning, ungodly pain steadily flowing from the bottom of my ball bag, through my bladder and lower intestines and up to my tits. My face looked like I had seen a ghost or had a fever of 110, I prayed for death.
I finally stood up again looking shell shocked and rejoined the women on the sandbar to hang out for a little bit. Sasha told us her life story which was extremely compelling and interesting but also pretty personal so I can’t in good conscience share it here. May write a story about it one day but probably not because I’ll forget.
Sasha graciously invited us to her birthday party at the nicest apartment building I have ever been allowed into. Supplied some delicious beer and liquor along with homemade BBQ staples (potato salad, pasta salad, salad salad, meats) and introduced us to some amazing people. Paddle boarding started as us trying to dip our toes into water sports and ended with us meeting some friends. Best fucking Groupon we’ve ever bought.