Mama Heather "H-Bomb" Nelson is back on her board - Maui Surfer Girls
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Mama Heather “H-Bomb” Nelson is back on her board

Most of you remember our surf instructor from a few years ago, “H-Bomb”.  She just had a baby girl this summer & here’s her story of her first surf session in 8 months at Rincon!

Mama Surfs!

My little girl woke me up at 6am, so I peaked at the surf report online–a ritual I haven’t been able to shake even though I have only suited up to catch waves once in the last 8 months. I became aware of the WNW swell from 285 degrees bringing fresh waves to our coast. Rincon would be 2-3 feet, with little to no wind. When I read the report I had an inexplicable feeling that this was my swell. Yemaya was calling me back to her loving arms. When Dave got up, he needed little convincing and was in instant rally mode, collecting gear: board, wetsuit, booties, wax, sunscreen, towel, diapers, toys, beach blanket, umbrella, bottle filled with breast milk, baby sunhat….etc. Don’t forget the pacifier, and I am so out of shape I better go back for a leash. Our little family was off! Loaded up and feeling stoked. Forget searching around for waves, just take me straight to the Queen of the Coast: Rincon.

The parking lot was packed on a Monday morning, 2 and half hours before low tide–an indication of things to come. After a compulsory check, I suited up, topped little Nala up with milk, and handed her to her Daddy. I ran down the beach, stretched my sleep-deprived body and paddled in at the point singing to the ocean goddess and praying to Neptune to keep me safe. Ahhh home at last, the water is a refreshing 60 degrees and I am literally soaking it up. Everything feels so familiar: the smell of the salty air, the sunlight on the wave’s steep face, the houses I use to keep my position, the ravenous pack of boys, the kelp, the river mouth, and the rocky point. My inner surfer girl who has been patiently waiting for this moment is ecstatic, euphoric, giddy with delight. I am whole again. More whole than ever, because now my life has new meaning, and a greater purpose than the last time I paddled here. I recognize in reflection that I have grown up and am more of the woman I always wanted to be. I catch a few perfect right-handers and tumble. Oh yes there are so many subtleties to remember: the angle of the board for take off, distribution of my weight over the sweet spot, fooling gravity into allowing me to feel flight, and picking out a line that will allow for maximum speed.

How are Dave and Nala? I glance at the shore and they are cuddled under the umbrella…just a few more…its coming back to me…there’s one and then another. Not wanting to push it, to ensure this magical day happens again, I paddle in at the river mouth…and greet Dave with Nala asleep to the lullaby of the waves. My hero. I was only in the water for an hour, far from shredding, yet I feel renewed, whole, a part of me freed. I am blown away at how transformative a paddle out is…everything brighter and time seems to stop. Of course I knew this…during the last few months of pregnancy I just let myself forget how a few waves can transform an ordinary day into a masterpiece. I am feeling blessed to be a surfer.

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