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Auntie Teresa’s Surfboard There are many “firsts” in life... your first tooth, your first steps, your first homerun, maybe your first kiss... By Pat Williams, Lufkin, TX | Teresa M. Williams, Killeen, TX

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The list goes on and on ….. but for many surfers, they never forget their first surfboard. As beginners, many of us use borrowed boards for the first few years, but when you got your own board, one that was REALLY your own, you may have felt that you graduated into the big leagues. Maybe it was an old beat-up son-of-a-gun or even a brand new one. Either way, you felt like a million bucks. Our family vacations are taken in Port Aransas, Texas, just once each year. Six years ago (Vol 5, Issue #1, Winter 2008) we wrote a story about teaching my little sister Teresa to surf ….. at age 50. Yes, that’s right ... she was 50 years old. Teresa is a petite, but athletic woman, about 5 feet tall, and able to handle most new challenges. She advanced quickly from belly-boarding to stand-up surfing. On each trip, for a few short days in October, she got some more practice on my 7’–10” board. Each year gave her more confidence, until last year when she bought an 8’-2” longboard, on the way back home. But because of work schedules, she could not ride it until the next family trip, which was an entire year later!!! I am sure she had great surf dreams though ……. with her making wicked bottom turns, graceful roller coasters, walking the nose, etc (don’t we all surf way better in our own minds than in reality?). The day finally arrived when we were to christen the new board. She had a blast applying the first coat of wax (another first), and we headed out to the shore. It was a gorgeous day, but pretty small waves (it is Texas surf after all). The waves were small enough that we were just standing in chest deep water and pushing off. I was very proud of her, because she was doing her own paddling, …. dismissing us with the back of her hand that she needed NO help from

her older (and wiser) brothers. She quickly remembered where to stand, although her first ride or two produced a wobbly stance, and over the side she went. It didn’t take her long though, to start catching a fair amount of waves, and planting those lily-white legs firmly on her new board. Even with the red bruise spots developing on her sore knees, I saw a broad smile being etched into her face with each wave. We have all borrowed someone else’s board for a few waves, or even a few days, but there is something special about planting your feet on YOUR new board for the very first time. Whether it is a two foot wave, or double overhead, it is always exciting to connect with a new board, along with the notion, real or imaginary, that this new board makes you a much better surfer (again, …. surfing in my mind is WAY better than in reality). Well, Teresa caught many fun rides, but this trip produced another first. The sand on Texas beaches is super-fine, and packs in very hard, so falling off in shallow water is dang near like landing on concrete. She had another new experience, ..… she fell off her board and broke her toe on the hard packed sand ….. her first injury. Oh, just one final thought. As I wrote this story with some input from Teresa, she came up with the alternate title “An Old Woman’s First Surfboard”. She thought it would help encourage women surfers of all ages. While she is a mere 56 years “young”, and realizes that many surfers are tweens, teens, and young adults, she doesn’t “feel” old as her age might imply. In fact, as justification for buying her very first board, she said, .. “Y-O-L-O” …You-Only-Live-Once and life is too short. DO ANYTHING while you still can. And heck, why not make it SURFING !!” wSSm | womenssurfstyle.com | 69

WSSM Womens Surf Style Magazine: Spring/Summer 2014 Issue  

Surf, fashion and lifestyle converge once again in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of WSSM. Packed with inspiring stories of surfer girls aroun...

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