Magic carpet rides

545513_10151068901303949_1177005509_nI can imagine the time the first potential surfer stared out into the ocean and said to him or her self, “I think if I go out into the woods and cut down a tree and carve a surfboard out of it then I can find a way to ride that wave.

I’m certain that person’s friends laughed their butts off over the surfers plan and told the surfer that even if they caught a wave  they most likely would die. Fortunately that didn’t deter the surfer who thought, “if we can ride an outrigger into the surf then why not a board that you could paddle”.

So then the day came and the surfer paddled out into the surf as everyone stood on the beach watching and waiting for the surfer to either fail or get washed up on the shore dead as a door nail.

I am fairly certain that the intrepid surfer ate it more than a few times to the delight of the onlookers but I can only imagine the sheer stoke and excitement the surfer felt and the absolute pandemonium that broke out on the beach as the surfer rode that first wave to the shore.

So began the sport that has captivated people like myself for the centuries following that day. As with that first ride, the only thing that has really changed about the sport are the boards (magic carpets) themselves and as each innovation came along there was that day when those on the beach hooted and howled  as they wondered how on earth someone could do what was being done on a surfboard.

I started surfing in he mid-sixties when the longboard was king and I remember how stoked I was when I saw someone riding a shortboard for the first time or saw someone surfing Waimea Bay . I also remember the first time I saw someone at Steamer Lane, when I was out there, pull off a 360 and true aerial. To that point I didn’t believe something like that could be done outside a skate or terrain park. And don’t even get me started on tow in surfing.

I’ve certainly never ridden on a magic carpet but based how it looked in “Alladin” I could tell it must be the freest form of transportation one could ever experience. Floating on air at speed has got to be the coolest.

Since I can’t ride a magic carpet the closest feeling to it that I could imagine is riding a board on a wave. I’ve been doing so for over fifty years now and I am still blown away to this day that I can ride a wave. Certainly there are days where I certainly don’t feel like I’m riding a magic carpet. But on those days where the conditions are right and I’m in the zone and working my way along the beautiful face of the wave, I truly feel like I’m on a magic carpet ride of the ultimate degree.

During my life I’ve skied, snowboarded and skateboarded and while all of those sports offer some of the same feel as surfing, for me they only offer a glimmer of that magic carpet ride feel. Certainly snowboarding in waist deep powder comes the closest but when you consider those things are performed on a surface that is fixed, they can’t touch something like surfing that is performed on a moving object that not only changes every day but also on every wave.

I feel most fortunate to have been able to enjoy the magic carpet ride for so long and to be able to share that feeling with every friend I’ve had the pleasure of surfing with or taught the sport to and  I hope we all help preserve our oceans so that, who knows how many centuries from now that it occurs, some surfer will do something that will have everyone on the beach hooting their lungs out and wanting to jump into the ocean and try it.

Thanks for checking in again this week. I pray you have a good one and I will look forward to seeing you back here again next week.

Aloha, Paul


About authorpaulhayden

Author, artist, screenwriter, environmentalist. husband, father, surfer, surfing instructor, volunteer.
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