While checking the surf the other day at the Pleasure Pier, I watched a lone figure guide his longboard into the small breaking waves, paddle furiously to catch one and then jump to his feet before falling almost immediately into the whitewater.

Again and again, he struggled with the big board, with the tiny waves, with his unpracticed balance. But he didn’t give up. He kept trying, over and over. And eventually he nailed it: the right wave, the correct position and a quick leap to his feet. He rode that small wave until it exhausted itself on the beach. I was ecstatic for him.

Stephen Hadley is a longtime surfer who lives and works in Galveston. If you have an idea for this column, email him at stephendhadley@gmail.com.

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