No visit to Australia is complete without hitting the Surf. We sent one of our staff members Katie on a weekend away with Rip Curl Surf Camp Australia. Here's the results...
I'll begin with a confession - I am an Aussie, and until recently I had never learnt to surf! I guess you could say that the surf has always intimidated me. This weekend I decided to cross another item off the ever growing Bucket List and enrol in a Surf Camp.
Our weekend with Rip Curl Surf Camp Australia began in Sydney on Friday night. We met the rest of the group (backpackers, international students & a few other Aussies like myself that had decided to finally bite the bullet). Our guide met us in the city before we made the 2 hour journey south of Sydney.
We arrived at the camp - a sweet little spot by the beach with a chilled atmosphere. We met our instuctors who had us laughing and bonding immediately - and like the rest of us - pumped for the weekend ahead. We hit the hay early in preparation for a 7:00am wake up.
7:30am - Breakfast
8:15am - 'Wetties' - or in non surf lingo - Wetsuits
8:30am - a warm up jog down to the beach, stretches, a get to know the group game and an introduction to surfing. We learnt how to paddle and stand up on the board
9:00am - Time to hit the surf! We had 3 intructors for the entire group that helped us practice our paddling and attempts to stand on our very first waves. Most of us were successful in standing up on our boards in the first hour. The lesson went for 2 hours and we returned back to the camp absolutely buzzing!
Lunch time: Hot shower, dry clothes, a surf movie and FOOOOOD!
2:00pm - Time for another 2 hour surf lesson. This time most of us had overcome any fear that we may have had of the waves. We ran into the ocean and attempted to stand on some bigger waves. Our instructors gave us an overview on how to accelerate and slow down on the board. After 2 hours of paddling, standing, falling and doing it all over again - we made our way back to camp.
We spent the afternoon chiling out with a few drinks before dinner, lazing in the hammocks, hitting up the pool & revisiting our child hoods on the jumping castle. After dinner we hit the local pub and danced the night away. By this time I had made a whole new group of friends.
A few sore heads and another morning start! Wetties on as we walked down to the beach for our third and final 2 hour surf lesson. We had a lot more waves this morning! We learnt how to make a 'Surf Check' - wind, swell & tide. We learnt about the different kind of boards that can be used and what sort of boards and conditions we should be looking for as beginners. Our guides taught us how to make turns and had us practising before hitting the surf again. By the third lesson we were all eager, confident and fearless - definitely making the most of our last session.
We returned back to the camp for lunch, chilled for a bit, played a game of cards and packed our bags ready to leave. The team at Surf Camp had prepared a Video of the entire weekend along with a photo slideshow (free for all of us) - a great way to wrap up the weekend.
Feeling a little sad to part as a group and say our good byes to the instructors - we ventured back to Sydney... each of us looking forward to our next surf sess!
Surfing is definitely a romanticised sport - it's not as easy at it looks and it's important to know what to do, where to go and how to do it... it will leave us beginners aching & exhausted... but once you 'get it' - the feeling is unforgettable! 2 Hours is just not enough! In a weekend I had made new friends, found a new hobby & had conquered my fear of the waves. I can't wait to hire a board and practice my skills.
The Surf Camp Team were amazing - thanks to Shane, Nicholas & Tyson for a wicked weekend!