WATCH: Wipeout! Surfing With Famed Chef Eric Ripert in Puerto Rico. Not as Easy as It Looks

About two months ago — right in the middle of Snowmageddon 2015 — my pal Eric Ripert called me up and said, “We are filming an episode of my show [Avec Eric] in Puerto Rico — want to come learn how to surf with me?”

I took one look out the window and about half a nanosecond later said, “HELL YEAH!”

In hindsight, I don’t know why I thought surfing was such a great idea.

1. I get seasick at the drop of a rudder.

2. I have a healthy respect for the ocean and all living things within it. [Read: I am petrified of sharks. So what if there hasn’t been a fatal attack there since 1924.]

3. I’ve never been known for my balance.

Related: The Top 5 Reasons to Go to Puerto Rico — Right Now

But I’ve always liked the idea of surfing. It just looks so cool — you know? My friends do it and say it’s like meditating on the water — and I love meditating … you just sit there! I’m GREAT at sitting!

So off I went.


I met Eric at Rincon Beach — the surf capital of Puerto Rico — and our instructor, Jen, from the Rincon Surf School all duded up in my new wetsuit (which of course I bought, as I knew I was going to be SO GOOD at this I’d need this wetsuit forever).

“I cannot swim very well,” Eric said. He was already starting to sweat. “I am nervous.”

“It’ll be fine,” I said. So confident. So cool. So… wrong.

Related: Old San Juan: The Best Quick (and Cheap!) Weekend Getaway


A storm was blowing in — so even getting the 12 foot surfboard to the water was challenging … and then there were the 6-foot swells.


An hour later, Eric and I were clutching the sand on shore for dear life — he with a minor back injury, me with bits of rocks embedded in my shoulder and heaving my lunch out on the sand. (Remember my seasickness issue?)

And at that moment, it dawned on me: I will never be that cool surfer girl. And I will have to be OK with that. Sigh.

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