This article was featured in; 2010

Riding Waves

Earn your surfing “learner’s permit” in Deerfield Beach, about 15 miles north of Fort Lauderdale. Each Saturday, just after sunrise, Island Water Sports hosts a free group lesson, complete with padded long boards made for beginners. The teacher, Hawaii native Kali “da Big Kahuna” Montero— a former professional surfer who has competed in Australia, Bali, India, and Thailand—is one of only four certified surf instructors in southern Florida. Montero’s first lesson takes place on the sand, where he goes over the basic steps for catching, riding, and turning with a wave. Then it’s into the water to practice the pop-up. You’ll probably wipe o

ut a few times—and watch a few 5-year-olds glide past you, effortlessly, on their boards—before mastering this feat of strength and grace. But, as Montero says, when you do, “It’s a feeling of freedom.”