Three minutes later things were not quite as fun, a rip current had formed and was swiftly pulling me out to sea. An old guy swam up to me and asked if I was ok, of course I said I was but I was terrified. My Mom and Bruce were setting up things on the beach and did not notice I was going straight out to sea. There are a lot of rocks at Ballito Bay and I went from glory to fear in a matter of minutes. I put my head down and paddled for my life and somehow managed to luckily get out of the current and make it back to the beach. No one had actually even noticed, but for me that was enough for one day.
That November spring day I learnt two valuable life lessons. Surfing was what I wanted to do, I had strived for my mother’s attention, I saw by the look on her face that morning that by surfing I might have that, after all Bruce surfed.
Never underestimate the power of the ocean. That lesson would be a recurring one and has continually conditioned my life.
In a matter of minutes life was changed forever, almost every decision I have ever taken since that day has been a direct consequence of those 10 minutes on the beach. I went to the beach a 9 year old boy. I came home that day a Surfer.
Tomas 9 years old, 40 years later, Durban South Africa.