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Riding the waves of success

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They said all this with the knowing smiles of experience as the group popped up onto their imaginary surfboards on the sand, straight to their surfing stance.

It was an effortless task on the beach.

Then, carrying their boards awkwardly under their arms, tripping and trying not to drag their boards, they hit the water.

Some, typically, went straight to their knees. Others continually stood up too early.

And one surfer forgot to cover his head coming up and was hit with the board’s fin.

He had already caught the surfing bug however, and McGowan, who is also a registered nurse, quickly patched him up on the beach because he didn’t want to waste time at the hospital.

After the two-hour lesson, Hudnall’s answer "every day for two years" didn’t seem so unreasonable.

But some were actually surfing! They weren’t riding the waves, more hanging on for dear life, but they were up.

The lessons were made easier on the Surf Sister surfboards, which are made out of epoxy and foam and are wider than most boards.

The blue foam on the top means the boards aren’t too slippery for beginner surfers and there’s no need for wax.

They’re a little different from Hudnall’s board. She rides on a 6-0 Fish GMC, a swallowtail that is thicker and wider than a short board.

It was the board she was riding when she won the Roxy Quicksilver Pro last year and she calls it her magic blue board.

Hudnall says she has tapped into a good thing with Surf Sister.

She calls surfing a drug – a healthy upper that is as addictive as any drug out there.

"I think it helps people stay sane in this crazy world," she said.

"I think the ocean is a really special place."

Hudnall says surfing captures the energy that exists when the water and the land meet.

"That’s the spiritual thing."

It’s also a cool sport and that’s why it’s so popular, she said.

But the lifestyle hasn’t come without its price. She admits to being overwhelmed sometimes by the business side of her operation. In retrospect she would have spent time getting a marketing/business degree at school. Now she is resigned to never becoming a university graduate.

On a more personal note, she was diagnosed with skin cancer on her nose about two years ago from the constant exposure to the sun. It was a huge scare, she said.