Written by Jacqueline Newell
Recently I discovered the treasure trove that is MaineToday.com. With constant updates about new eateries, tourist traps you should fall into and a segment every weekend letting you know what’s up, MaineToday.com has become my guide for getting more involved in Portland, Maine. This is my first full summer in Maine as an adult that does not have a specific end date due to the starting of a new school semester or a job that requires me to travel. So here I am, 23 and in Maine. Most of my friends are gone and my days off rarely coincide with a weekend. So what does one do? Explore.
On Tuesday, June 24th, I was reminded of how much I love surfing. Heather Steeves wrote an article for MaineToday.com about free surfing every Tuesday for women sponsored by Aquaholics, a surf shop down in Kennebunk. Not certain that I would actually have Tuesday off, I signed up for the 9am lesson down on Gooch’s Beach called “Mom’s Morning Surf.” [No, there is not something I’m not telling you. It’s for all women 21+.] I packed up a bag and drove an hour to Kennebunk before finding myself at the old church turned surf shop. As women started to filter in, we ranged in age and lifestyle. Recent college grads to grandmothers. So there we were, in the back of the shop, all trying [i.e. struggling] to get into our wetsuits. That was the first step toward comradery.
There were sisters, cousins, friends and plenty of us showing up solo. 12 women who all felt like they were suctioned into their suits as we listened to Nanci, our instructor. We learned the Aquaholics 6 step plan and with that, we were off. I made some fast friends, caught a couple of waves, missed a lot of waves, and when it was time for Nanci to go help out with another lesson, she let us have free reign and use her equipment. It’s a very easy going environment and, although I am known for being competitive, I enjoyed that we all cheered for one another as we worked hard [boy, am I feeling it today!].
Aquaholics offers Mom’s Morning Surf every Tuesday morning and the best part, it is FREE. You’re allowed to go twice for free, after that it’s time to anti-up. Needless to say, I will most definitely be going back – and maybe even investing in a wet suit! Aquaholics helped me buy my first rash guard and board shorts when I was 17 and headed down to Costa Rica on a Girl Scout Destination. That was nearly 7 years ago, I think I’ve found my shop and I’m sticking too it.