Fat Surfing


If you will remember from my Year of the Snake post, I told you that I am going surfing in Costa Rica in March. That trip is only 16 days away now! My beard is tingling just thinking about it.

Now you will also remember that I only started surfing this past summer. It was one of the biggest goals that I had in losing weight. That makes me nervous for a number of reasons. I am still a big guy. Even though I have lost over 100 pounds in total, I am still not happy about my weight or my size. At over 250 pounds, I am still no where near the ideal shape or size for surfing.

But I can’t let that get in the way of the trip of a lifetime. I do have fears that I won’t be able to rent a big enough board. I am still scared to take my shirt off in public. I still think that I am gross and that others might think so too.

But I am going, dammit.

I have worked too hard to get to this point and I am going to go have a good time, regardless of my weight, mind-set, or ability. I am proud of the weight that I have lost so far. And I know that I while I may never reach this ideal for manhood set forth by the abs of Ryan Gossling, I am still awesome. I know that my female readers will not read this sentence because they are still thinking about Ryan’s abs. So I feel the need to write this pointless sentence so that they will not miss the good stuff I have to say in the next couple of sentences…

There are so many people out there who want so bad to be able to do active things, be it running, surfing, skateboarding, or freestyle BMX cross-over downhill water polo, or just get off the couch without losing their breath, yet they get it in their head that there is no way they will ever be able to.  I know. I used to have those feelings all the time.  It got to the point where I NEVER thought I would know what it was like to buy pants off the rack again. NEVER know what it would be like to have a weight that didn’t start with a 3. I NEVER thought I would know what it was like to sit in a restaurant booth comfortably. I honestly thought I would die not knowing that peace.

But then I got determined. And I realized that I was worth fighting for.  Are you worth fighting for? I believe you are. Now you need to convince yourself.

Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise and I cannot wait to get down there and get in the water. I am going to go with my head held high and I am going to shred the waves like I was born to do it. And if I get down there and have one ill thought about being the only fat guy in the world who wants to surf, I will remember Jimbo Pellegrine and I will keep on going.


Jimbo Pellegine getting tubed at Padang, Indo. Not photoshopped, for real.


If you are not following me on Instagram and Facebook, then now would be a great time.  It is easier for me to make quick posts there during the day than it is to sit down and write a blog post. If you want to know more about what I am doing then follow me there too…

7 comments to Fat Surfing

  • Crystal

    Ryan Gosling… OK, now I can pay attention.

    Honestly, this post is false advertisement! Fat surfing may be the dude at the bottom (who is killing it, btw) but not you. I’m glad you’re going and not letting any issues get in the way of enjoying your trip and the fulfillment of a goal you’ve set. I spent a lot of sweaty hours at the beach wishing I could go in the water but too worried about revealing my swimsuit-clad self. Now I still don’t like it but I realize these folks will never see me again and I want to enjoy my beach time. If they’re disappointed I’m not a bikini model, they can look down the beach for better examples! 🙂 Have fun on your trip!

  • Which coast? Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side is our favorite place that we’ve visited. You will love it and you will not be the fat surfer! Pura vida!!

  • Dawn I will be on the PAC side, starting in Nosara and traveling wherever serendipity takes us. 🙂

  • This post was so inspiring to me! Surfing has been a huge goal for me too, especially since I live in Florida. This post definitely spoke to me. Thanks for being awesome Hank!

  • I highly recommend checking out Samara and Carrillo – Samara is just south of Nosara and both beaches are so beautiful. We stayed in Samara and spent the day at Carrillo (about a 7km walk). If you do that – take food and water with you as there no restaurants/hotels on or even really near Carrillo. You can check out my blog post here (we were there in 2007). http://blogs.bootsnall.com/DawnP/samara-and-carrillo-day-4.html

  • Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail)
    Twitter: DarwinianFail

    You have made such amazing progress and you are still working hard striving for your goals and dreams. YOU GOT THIS!

  • stella

    This really inspired me! I will be studying in puntarenas and I decided to take surfing. I’m a short woman and over 200 lbs as it gets closer I have been thinking abut dropping surfing or not going altogether because of my weight. But I’m going to do it this gave me that lititle extra push I needed to get over my fears. I don’t know if you still Chek this but thank you!

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