I was driving a van full of 10 teenagers, all pumped to spend the next 5 days surfing, when I set my eyes upon the New Hampshire coast for the first time. It was a sight I was not prepared for. It was beauty in its purest form and quintessential New England! Ocean Boulevard winds in between a rocky coast on one side, and gorgeous mansions on the other. The mix of the ocean, wide open beaches, and a rocky shore made this coastline one of the best I have ever scene.
Why was I driving a van full of surfing teenagers? My sweet, sweet summer job as a Teen Trip Leader is what sent me to Rye Beach, New Hampshire to go surfing, bask in the beauty of the scenery, AND get paid. Tough Life.
I never thought of New Hampshire as a popular surfing community, but all along the rocky New England Coast you will find tons of surfers! Rye Beach is just south of Portsmouth, and is a cute and quiet, little beachside town with beautiful oceanfront houses scattered along the rocky coast. The beaches are huge and not at all crowded (at least compared to New Jersey standards, where I grew up going to the beach), and there are more surfers in the water than swimmers.
We surfed with Summer Sessions, a little surf shop that offers private and group lessons. They set you up with boards and wetsuits(which are necessary because the water is FAAAREEEZZING!), and some sweet instructors. So basically, the instructors taught all of the kids how to surf while I got to ride the waves myself! Woo!
At 56 degrees in the middle of July, the water temperature was the only downside to the week. Full bodysuits were necessary and even that didn’t totally protect us from how cold the water was. Regardless, the surf was fantastic and got bigger as the week went on, which was good because we were all more confident on our boards! It was an amazing feeling being able to catch a wave and ride it into the beach all the while soaking in the gorgeous scenery around me!
I know how lucky I was to be able to experience the beauty of the New Hampshire coast by doing something as fun as surfing! An all expenses paid surf vacation will probably not come again for me!
I took away a few things from my experience:
5 Things I learned from Surfing in New Hampshire
1. It doesn’t matter how hard I workout at the gym, or how much weight I can lift, surfing is hard and takes all of my strength!
2. Surfing makes me ravenous (this is where Beach Pizza comes in)
3. Peeing in a full body wetsuit is disgusting (but necessary)!
4. There is something so peaceful about sitting on a surfboard surrounded by other surfers all watching the horizon waiting for the next set of waves.
5. I now totally get why a surfer’s life revolves around the ocean.
After a week of surfing, I don’t think I could actually classify myself as a surfer, but I sure did feel like one! I made sure to use words like “stoke” and “gnarly” and “rad” in all of my sentences while telling my family all about the swells that day.