Surfing is an exhilarating albeit challenging activity. The first few goes can leave you saturated and bruised. That being said, once you get the hang of it there is little thrill like it.
Here at balls.ie we've decided to put together a handy guide to transition you from novice to expert, courtesy of the multitude of Irish athletes who've tried their hand at it over the years. Whether it be a team bonding session, a boxing ring prop or photo shoot accessory, surfing has featured heavily in the lives of Ireland's sporting stars.
Step 1: Get a board.
A surf board, like the one Cork dual star Rena Buckley has in the photo below, is a necessity. It is a basic requirement so you can catch a wave instead of being hit by one. The hurl and boxing gloves can probably stay at home though.
Step 2: Find a beach.
Surfing generally takes place at sea. For this you'll need to get to the coast and find a beach, such as the one the Irish rugby team found prior to the 2003 World Cup. While it appears Brian O'Driscoll and Keith Wood are planning to share, we'd recommend getting a board to yourself.
Step 3: The hold-the-surfboard photo.
In today's world, we don't just do an activity, we have to be seen doing an activity. The surfboard photo is a wonderful opportunity to let your Instagram followers how cool you are. Donegal's Karl Lacey has it down to a tee here. The red slap on the belly likely came from a hard fall or giddy team-mate, and is not a strict obligation.
Step 4: In you go.
Look at Keith Wood there, happy as a pig in shite.
Step 5: Paddle.
Once you are in the water, lie flat on the board, look forward, wait for a wave and prepare for the break. Donaghy demonstrates the necessary concentration, with the glaring look of a man about to puck a sticky full-back or launch a verbal broadside at a prolific RTE pundit.
Step 6: Popping up.
This is probably the most challenging part of learning to surf. 'Taking off' or standing up is difficult and takes some work. Initially you can try getting up onto your knees, like former Irish out-half David Humphries:
Eventually you'll want to stand upright on a board. This is a difficult skill to master. Former Irish centre Kevin Maggs does a good jump at displaying how initial attempts may go.
Step 7: Ride the wave.
Once you are up it's all about balance. Use your arms to help, like the world's number one scrum-half does here. Stay central, a slight bend of the knees and ride it in to the shore. This part is every bit as enjoyable as Murray's slightly terrified but thrilled face depicts it to be.
And that's it. Once you've grasped those seven steps you are good to go. Now it's just time to find a board, get a sea-shell bracelet and head west. Right on, dude.