Before I went to Australia, and back in the day when I was obsessed with Home and Away, the main thing I wanted to do when I went Down Under was to try my hand at surfing. Despite going to the UK’s mini Australia Newquay and watching my friends do it I’d never quite had the confidence to try it. That was until I visited Bondi Beach with my friend Lisa.
We booked a four hour course with Let’s Go Surfing on Bondi Beach with the main goal of being able to stand up on the board, just for a few seconds.
Of course seeing as we were now joining the surfing elite we needed to eat an energy-inducing English breakfast in the cafe next door before we started with all the fit surfers. From here we had a perfect view across Bondi Beach and carefully watched the early rising surfers to get a hint of some tips and tricks we could follow. And then we were ready.
After being fitted for the wetsuit and selecting a board we slogged our way down the beach to where the lesson would start. I never realised how hard it actually is to carry a huge board, surfboard fins dragging in the sand, across a beach. I had a new found respect for the Bondi hotties that were now all around me for managing it with such ease.
The first hour
We laid our boards down on the sand, just shy of the sea, to start the lesson. The first hour involved us jumping up and down on the boards to give us a feel of what it’d be like when we were out in the waters. We did press ups and burpies, and reenacted some worst case scenarios. I ached already.
Time to get in the Tasman Sea
The six of us got in the waters with our surfboards safely strapped to our ankles. It was a lot more difficult to bounce up on the surfboard and have the confidence to stand up when the waves were lashing over us and the pros were whizzing by.
Believing in myself that I actually could stand up and tackle the waves was the hardest part. I spent a good hour floundering about and trying to reassure Lisa that the fishies wouldn’t kill her (see Scuba Diving in Cancun). Surfing in Australia had always seemed like an unachievable feat and here I was spluttering out seawater and desperately trying to tame my board so I could get actually get on it to see the sea from above rather than below.
And then I did it. I Victoria Philpott managed to stand up on my surf board and cruise along the wave for at least ten seconds, maybe five, I can’t be sure. Of course the excitement and achievement panicked me and I promptly fell off.
But that was enough for me. I’d done what I set out to achieve and learnt to surf on Bondi Beach, in Australia.
I can’t actually tell you how much my pectoral muscles and my arms hurt the next day, they’ve never had such a workout before, or since. But without a doubt, it was all worth it.