I paddle out to the breakers – I’ve got this part down – and wait, straddling my board as the rest of my group struggles through the surf. It’s quiet now, and I watch the waves, coming in sets of three, and visualize when I’d begin to paddle. I’m feeling calm as a wave swells behind me, and I begin to paddle on my own just as Bartelt yells for me to begin. The wave lifts me up, and I ride it for a second on my stomach and then pop effortlessly to my feet as the wave unfolds beneath me. I’m surfing! I ride nearly to shore before the wave peters out and I tip off the board sideways. I can hardly wait to paddle out again. Three more hours pass, and I stand up on the board nearly every time, sometimes only for a second but often almost all the way to shore. As we’re carrying the boards back to the car for lunch, Bartelt says, “You know, if you did this for a few weeks at home, you’d be pretty good.” Flattery maybe, but I’m hooked. My arms may disagree.