the naked full moon surf

by: Tara Ruttenberg

on bachelorette surf weekend, we asked: "what is the one thing you've never done that you have to do before you get married?"

her response: "hmmmm... how about surf at night in the full moon?"

our reply: "naked full moon surf Malpais 2013!"

and so it was settled: on our last night in town we would bring our boards to the beach at 1:30am and surf in all of our natural glory under the light of the full moon.

after a night of girlfriend shenanigans (read: decadent dinner and cocktails, heartfelt conversation, impromptu reggaeton dance party at beachfront villa, accidental pool party in our party dresses, and late night appearance at the outdoor dance club on the beach), it was time to get down to biz.

the bachelorette was tired and the rest of the crew was set to chicken out, but a deal is a deal and i wasn't about to let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass us by. we rallied and stripped down to nothingness, waxing our boards and wrapping colorful sarongs around our bare bodies, tiptoeing onto the sand. "oh my god, are we really doing this?" and "aaaah! i can't believe i'm actually naked on the beach with my surfboard and nothing else!". the more modest of us had cold feet, nervous to be so exposed and nakedly vulnerable. luckily, strategically un-sunned patches of skin covered our breasts and buns, contrasting markedly with our tanned bodies, creating the illusion that we were all wearing white bikinis; that is, until one gets a bit closer to our unmistakable female anatomy.

we hadn't planned for there to be so many beachgoers at this hour of the night, but then again it was saturday and we were staying next door to the bar... fortunately, the twilight darkness, our skin-bikinis and the general drunkenness of the people on the beach helped to hide our nudity from public view, with the exception of a few more cognizant onlookers taking notice and expressing their support for our late night jaunt: "you guys are really naked?" "you're actually going for a surf in the full moon?" "THAT IS SO COOL!" after a mini photo session on the shore (4 our eyes only), we were stoked and ready to paddle out.

the water, like liquid ink, was glassy below us and conditions could not have been better. from what we could see, it was chest-high and sets were slow, allowing us a chance to paddle out with just a few quick duck-dives. blackness surrounded us in all directions, save the lights from the bar and a bonfire on the beach, the skyful of stars, the moon's gentle glow overhead, and the white wake of the breaking waves. without sight to guide us, we had to rely on our other senses, fully aware of sounds and the way the sea felt beneath our boards; completely present to the vastness before us.

i was the first to paddle into a wave, a left breaking slow enough for me to get in front of it. as i get to my feet and make the drop, blind to anything further than a foot or two in front of me, my exhilaration turns to helpless panic as i see the whites of eyeballs followed by a cute little white surfer bum popping up before me. i make sense of the situation: one of the girls is attempting to duck-dive under me as i pass over her body along the wave. hoping for the best, instead i feel a ba-dum-bump beneath me as my board makes contact, running over her naked flesh with my fins. my mind is flooded with thoughts of tragedy. the headlines would read: "Woman's Naked Body Eaten by Shark after Bleeding to Death from Bachelorette Weekend's Tragic Full Moon Surf Accident". I kick off the wave screaming "oh my god are you okay?!", paddling towards her to see if she's alive. "well, i think so... i don't think it's bleeding, but it feels sore". i had run over her ankle but it hadn't cut the skin. exhaling relief and gratitude for my shitty fins, we weren't about to let a little incident like that kill our full moon buzz.

the bachelorette caught a wave on the inside and disappeared to shore, deciding her one full moon wave was enough to fulfill her pre-marriage dream and she wasn't about to press her luck, especially after a night of cocktails and delicious sleep just moments away.

and then there were two. putting the ankle wound out of mind, we traded off waves, woo-hoo-ing at the sheer novelty of the experience, amazed that we were actually able to surf without being able to see a thing. our bodies and minds had been trained for this over the years we'd been surfing, and if we let them, they knew exactly what to do. timing was the trickiest part, but after a few attempts, it started feeling almost normal, second-nature kicking in as we raced down the line, cutbacks and turns sweeping across the black walls of water. "this is so amazing! i feel so FREE!"...

and that's what it was - absolute freedom in a sea of darkness; girlfriends, waves, and moonlight, our naked souls reconnecting with the powerful full moon energy, the symbol of our divine femininity and the sacred wisdom of our experience as women.

we stepped out of the sea and onto the shore, glowing from our full moon surf, bodies sparkling with drops of ocean running down our salty skin. we'd return to our rented room and rest for the night, smiling at our brief spiritual adventure, allowing the memory to fade into a dream, taking our lasting glow with us to our separate lives.

surf goddesses of the moonlight. <3