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Board

Started: 2021-04-17 10:35:16

Submitted: 2021-04-18 13:19:24

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator takes his kid body-boarding

For their birthdays, I got the kids O'Neill wetsuits and bodyboards so they can play in the waves in the chilly Pacific water, as part of my plan to get the kids outside and to embrace Santa Cruz's surf lifestyle. (Calvin's board got lost in the mail, and I need to replace it, but Julian's arrived on time.)

Julian prepares to catch a wave
Julian prepares to catch a wave

This picture sells Julian going native in Santa Cruz, heading out into the waves (and I'm going to leave it here at the top though it messes up the narrative, because my content engine picks the first image in the post as the key image and this is the one I want to use).

I took Julian to Rio del Mar Beach on a Saturday afternoon in April to try out the body board.

Julian on Seacliff Beach
Julian on Seacliff Beach

We started out at the edge of the waves to get used to the water again. (I was in my swimsuit, which was a bit chilly for the water, though I only really got up to my knees in the water. I do have a full-body wetsuit but it seemed a bit excessive for the circumstances.) Julian was not quite sure what to make of the water at first, so I suggested jumping over the waves to get him into the water again, and he seemed amused by that, and then after a couple of minutes he was ready to try the board.

Julian jumps over a wave
Julian jumps over a wave

I gave Julian his board, secured the strap around his wrist so he and the board would always travel in the same direction, and tried to give Julian some pointers on how to grab the board and how to steer it in the waves (not that I really have a lot of experience myself, but I thought I knew at least vaguely what to do with it).

Julian with his body board
Julian with his body board

Julian ended up boarding in the shallowest part of the beach, letting the waves wash him around as they broke on the sand and washed back and forth. He didn't like getting water in his face, but otherwise he enjoyed the waves.

Wave breaks over Julian
Wave breaks over Julian

There were two teenage girls riding body boards further out in the break, giving an example to ride. I tried to point them out to Julian and adopt bits of their technique, but I'm not sure he really got what I was trying to tell him.

Julian rides his body board
Julian rides his body board

I took these pictures with my GoPro, which proved especially convenient to document the splash zone without worrying about getting my camera wet.

Julian approaches the break
Julian approaches the break

After 45 minutes in the waves, my feet were getting cold in the chilly Pacific water, and Julian agreed that he was done, so we returned to the dry part of the beach and built a sandcastle on the bank of Aptos Creek before returning home for the day.

Julian heads out into the waves
Julian heads out into the waves

I have a few more pictures of Julian in the water at Photos on 2021-04-10.

I have more [than five computers] in my own office, and they are still
breeding like rabbits.
- Arthur C. Clarke