San Juan del Surf, Nicaragua Apr05

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San Juan del Surf, Nicaragua

[I am currently taking a year off from the daily grind and traveling the world. This is the second in a series of articles about my travels. For today’s article, I detail my first attempts at surfing in Nicaragua.]

OK, technically this place is called San Juan del Sur – but it is the surfing capital of Nicaragua and gets its Nica nickname, San Juan del Surf, from the most fun thing to do here. I am completely exhausted from surfing from 10 am to 3 pm – my body feels like I’ve been inside a washing machine all day.  I can’t really complain, because surfing is fun as shit.  It is a delicious mix of all the good “tion’s:” relaxation, exertion, competition, meditation, and visualization.  I’m pretty terrible at it, but today we were blessed with great conditions–a private beach and 4- to 6-foot waves–and I had a nice-sized 9-ft board. This enabled me to ride 20-30 waves throughout the day and even get a handle on putting the rails into the side of the wave and surfing laterally instead of straight towards the beach.

You can see in the featured image of this post where I dropped in from the lip of the wave and started turning.

I also secured myself a sponsorship deal from Billabong… unlikely.

Surfing is something that I will seek out for the rest of the trip and will be a factor in deciding where to live when we return. It would certainly be nice to blow off some steam  on the ocean after a workday.

This brings me to another thing I’ve been wondering about: Why is staring at a blank horizon of the ocean so mesmerizing and attention-holding for someone like myself ,whose internal thoughts typically bounce around so readily? After doing some research, I found that (as with many questions) no one knows the answer, but the hypothesis I found most compelling was that the mind has to work very hard to classify whatever we see with our eyes. The ocean has only 1 line of contrast for the mind to evaluate, no faces or important edges, a very simple image. Almost as easy as having your eyes closed. Maybe the pleasure you get from looking out into the ocean at nothing is the brain telling us to take a break. Point taken.

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