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Everybody gets to know their own habits, abilities, limitations, dreams and goals. I have started to get to know my limits by now, when it comes to surfing at least. At this moment my limitations were mostly one, and that was the limitation of standing up on the board in the water.

My dream and goal was of course to overcome this limitation and surf properly. The routine that I had at the moment was to paddle out and miss about three to five waves (by falling or accidentally going with waves I didn’t mean to go with).

This would follow with me catching one or two waves and thinking that I might have figured out how to get up, just to realise that I still had no idea. So I continued to fall and miss about fifteen waves.

I always tried to push myself to take one more wave before I had to exit the water due to tiredness. It’s really hard for you body to be in water when you have a bad paddling technique and surfing skills. It’s a real struggle.


With my experience in mind, yet full of hope I went into the surf school in Recco to borrow a board for the day. I always went to Recco on my days off and on the days that I hoped would have waves. I could often adjust my time off and of course if I could be off either Tuesday or Wednesday and this week the waves were on the Wednesday, the choice was easy.

This was the day when all my expectations were going to fail totally. In the best way I could possibly imagine. I had been surfing about five times now, or more likely I had been in the water, with a board, trying to stand up five times.

Was I infected with a mysterious surf-virus

I started to learn what I thought was going to happen. Happy for having a day in the sea, I took the board under my arm and went into the water. Paddling out in the Ligurian sea as so many times before, reaching the lineup, saying hello to my friends.

I saw a good wave coming and I went for it. Something happened. I caught my first wave. That never happens, never… I was so surprised, it was just a very nice easy wave, but something was going on.

I was lucky. What I knew, was that I don’t normally catch my first wave until I’ve missed at least a few. It was a nice surprise and I paddled out to the lineup again. As I waited for my next wave I was so proud of myself for getting the first one.


Another wave came, I put myself in position and started to paddle. I felt the moment was right and I stood up. Just like that. What was going on?! The next wave, the same thing and the one after that, and the one after that… I just kept standing up.

Was I infected with a mysterious surf-virus that made me able to stand up on the board? Was I just dreaming? Was my body playing a joke on me? I didn’t care what my body was up to, I was confused, happy and enjoyed every bit of it! I didn’t miss until my tenth wave.

In the water with me were four grown-up guys having their first surf lesson. Of course they fell, as you do, but one time one of the guys boards came up on mine after he fell. I bent down, removed his board from mine and continued to surf.

The weird thing here was that people who hadn’t seen me before treated me like I knew how to surf

When this guy and I were back at the lineup he said he was sorry and I said ‘ok’, mostly because of my limited Italian. The weird thing here was that people who hadn’t seen me before treated me like I knew how to surf. Probably because I stood up in total 15 out of the 19 waves I went for. So I got their point of view, but since I had almost never experienced myself surfing, it was really strange when people treated me as I knew something about what I was doing.

It wasn’t a one time, lucky time. I kept on standing up the next time I went surfing. I know now how to stand up – in the white swell still, but I stand up. Time after time…

It seemed like this was the time I broke the magic spell.

To find out more about Lovisa visit

lovisa stahl

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