I don’t think you could get any more Australian then learning to surf at Bondi, Sydney’s iconic beach.
This wasn’t my first attempt at surfing, but this time I was at that famous beach.
The fact that I had just signed a waiver to say I was okay with the possibility that I could be bitten by a shark, didn’t bother me.
I wasn’t even on the lookout for them.
All I cared about was watching the sets roll in and preparing myself to ride the next wave.
My first swim of the summer season, the blue skies and beating sun giving no indication of the rotten weather we had experienced in Sydney all season long.
It was a cracker of a day. The water crystal clear and the waves breaking perfectly for a group of beginning surfers who are keen to blog about it.
If only we had our phones in the surf with us to tweet.
I reckon by the end of our lesson we all could have done it, we were that good.
We had all admitted that morning over our breakfast at Swells Cafe, Bronte, that we were a little daunted by the idea of learning to surf at Bondi, and would have been okay if there were no waves.
And then after it, over our nutritious salad lunch, we admitted how glad we were that the lesson went ahead.
We were surfers now. Pumped up and ready for the following day’s Australian Open of Surfing at Manly.
We owe it all to Shelly and Aiden, our instructors from Let’s Go Surfing who patiently instructed and encouraged us.
We started off introducing our goals for the day:
“To stand up for at least 4 seconds”. I was aiming to beat my previous record of 2 seconds surfing at D Bar on the Gold Coast.
The surf at Bondi was much cleaner and easier to surf than at that beach on the Gold Coast where Quiksilver pro surfing contests were held.
“Oh yeah, it’s way more powerful up there and harder to read the waves,” Aiden confirmed for me just why I was doing so much better this time and why Bondi is the perfect beach for any beginner to learn.
“Bondi faces south so we are really protected here; the surf is not so wild.”
And so the sets gently rolled in.
Shelley and Aiden reminded us of our stand up moves and to take them really slow.
Deceived by the one-second-fluid stand up motion of professional surfers, you think that this is the way you have to stand up.
“Slow it down Caz. I want you to really slow every move down.”
It wasn’t until I took at least a second to do each of the four steps that my body finally understood what it was meant to do and before you knew it, viola, I was up and surfing.
A few rides in and I had beaten my 4 second goal.
And from them on it was up, down, wipe out.
We were having so much fun that I was shocked at the speed of time when last waves were called.
By the end of it all our goals were reached. Gary stood up on the board, Abby had a true surfer girl vibe coming off her and killed the lesson, and Megan thoroughly enjoyed herself catching a wave that freaked Aiden out with her bravery and barrel riding skills.
Not only is Bondi Beach an easy place to learn, but the scenery as you bob about in the ocean in anticipation for the next wave is simply something to write home about.
Let’s Go Surfing is the only learn to surf company in Bondi, and tight restrictions are placed on them to ensure they don’t overtake this very popular Sydney beach.
It didn’t matter how many times they had to tell me to keep my eyes to the front so I would stop wiping out, they always did it with a smile and a “Lets Go, you can do it.”
Surfers are such passionate people about the sport, they don’t care how many times they have to tell you the same thing, as long as eventually you get it and fist pump the air, because you have learned to surf.
Fist is pumping!!
I’m happy to sign a waiver for that one.
What would be your surfing goal?