I started my lessons with the Panama Surf School. I walked into the salty water with my GoPro-ready surfboard and felt my foot get pierced by a sharp object. “WTF.” I thought it was a broken beer bottle or a broken branch. I tried finding the fudging ruin Vincent’s day object with no success. I lifted my left foot out of the water to see my foot punctured with blood coming out. It wasn’t too bad so I kept on going into the Pacific. Not the start I wanted for my first time surfing in Panama.
You can go 50 to 100 metres into El Palmar Beach and still be in shallow water. The shallow water makes it easier for the surfing instructor to stand up and teach you. Though the water is shallow, you still catch beginner-sized waves to learn. I had a hard time balancing on the surf board due to my weight (right now 210 pounds). It was clear I was the worst student. I saw other surfing students have more success. At one point there was an eight-year-old girl, Sofia (I think), showing everyone how to surf. It was her second or third lesson, but she might have been surfing since age two like Wayne Gretzky skated. I see her getting sponsored by Oakley or Billabong in ten years.
I won’t be reaching the pro surfing tour in this lifetime, “but man,” surfing in Panama is fun, difficult, but fun. I definitely will try it again. The feeling I had when paddling to move at the speed of the wave was exciting. I paddled as fast as I could without losing balance, too slow and the wave would throw me off the surfboard. My adrenaline picked up when the wave was right behind me. My surfboard picked up more speed. It was time to stand up and ride the wave – or what usually happened, crashed.
I was glad I took lessons from the Panama Surf School. I learned the basics I needed to surf.
In addition to my rash guard, I’m going to bring water shoes next time I surf for the rocks. I’ll also wear compression pants underneath my shorts to avoid the knee rashes.
I’m glad I took a few surf lessons with the Panama Surf School. The lessons cost $40 adult and $35 child for 90 to 120 minutes. You get a discount with a package of 4 classes. The surf school is owned and operated by an Argentine, Flor. She came off as a genuine person.