Buying a surfboard and wetsuit, finding a decent spot, finding out when the waves are actually ride-able, learning how to paddle, how to stand up and finally how to ride a wave is already hard nowadays. Back in 1993 it felt nearly impossible for somebody who was not living close to the ocean. My friends and I spent hours, days, even weeks driving, reading, searching, paddling, asking before we rode our first waves.
Once I felt the sensation of gliding on water, being propelled by the force of the ocean, looking down at the vastly changing wall of water nearly collapsing over your head all the failed attempts and painful experiences were forgotten.
I think very few moments changed the priorities in the life of a surfer more than that first real wave ride. From that moment on, surfers relentlessly chase the sensation of gliding on water and organize there whole lives around it.