While I have been cruising down the East Coast I have really wanted to try to surf, after arranging it twice and having the course cancelled on my twice because of no waves I was determined to try again and had read that Byron Bay was a good place to try. So I arranged to go surfing and this time I was in luck, the waves were out there. So I took my first lesson with Mojo Surf School who picked me up from the hostel, took me to Seven Mile Beach a beautiful spot. They had kitted me out with a wetsuit although the water was pretty warm. For the first hour or so we warmed up our muscles then got down to how to stand up on a surf board which consisted of 4 moves.
- From laying down with toes over the edge of the back of the board pull your arms in close to your chest and push up
- From there bring your back leg to roughly knee level
- Throw your front leg between your two hands
- Twist front foot and stand up keeping a low centre of gravity
Sounds easy right? Well it was.. on dry land. before long we were out in the water, all the time my brain holding those 4 steps in my head and going through them in the calculative manner it’s used to. the instructors came out with us and helped us catch the wave but it seemed every time I tried to do this I either failed to get to my feet or totally forgot which step came first. We spent a few hours out there, walking against the current, getting out to the surf and trying all over again. In the whole process I scraped my knee on the sand which cut it up a bit. At the end of the day I still had not really been able to stand up but I did have fun.
Later in the evening while I was having dinner I was trying to decide what to do next. I had two more days in Byron Bay and wanted to use one of those days to go out on a Sea Kayak and pester Dolphins but that left me one whole day to play with. A spur of the moment decision made me phone and book a second surfing lesson, but this time with a different company Black Dog Surf School.
The next day I turned up bright and early to Black Dog and crowbar’ed myself into a wetsuit and jumped in a van to the beach. Arriving at the beach the waves already looked a bit more ‘learner friendly’, the guys took me and one other girl who had surfed before almost straight out. all they wanted to do was check out stand up technique. They asked me to show them what Mojo taught me so I did. What they did say is that although the steps were right what I was doing wrong was thinking about them too much and needed to make it a more fluid motion. Typical me.. over-thinking, so after a bit more dry land practice we headed out into the water.
A few moments later, some instructions from the awesome Black Dog crew and some corrections on my behalf on my pop-up technique and I was standing up, on a wave riding it down the shoreline. I hate to say it but I was ‘stoked‘, eventually I fell off and shouted like a crazy person. For the next 2.5 hours and with help to catch the waves I was surfing a lot better than the day before. I got to the point where I learned that my feet were not glued to the board but could be used as a tool to go faster to get ahead of the wave or slow down. So yeah I surfed, sadly there are no pictures or video evidence so you will just have to trust me on this one, although I might re-edit this and add picture to demonstrate the so called pop-up. It’s a sport I could totally get into, I would need to live in a country where there is surf (there is a little in the UK but only a little) and of course fork out cash for a board and wetsuit but if I could.. I would.
Wonder if I could do it in full goth makeup?