So we’d been in Australia for almost six weeks and still hadn’t had a go at surfing yet, crazy huh?! The weather in Byron Bay was pretty bad when we stayed so having a surf lesson there was a no-no and the only other place where we would have the opportunity to do so was in Noosa.
When Go Ride a Wave offered me a discount* on their two-hour adult surf lesson, I jumped at the chance. Plus, surfing lessons in general were quite hard to come by since companies had been inundated with bookings over the summer holidays. Alice and I were booked in for a morning lesson: 10am-12pm and, since we had to catch a coach at 1pm, we were also kindly being dropped directly to the bus transit centre after the lesson.
What sets Go Ride a Wave apart from other surfing companies available in Noosa is that they pick you up and drop you back to your accommodation (and this is all included in the price). So Alice and I were picked up bright and early from our AirBnB at 9:30am and taken down to the beach. We stripped off and were each given a rash guard (pretty self-explanatory but it’s a stretchy top to protect you from getting rashes) and then we headed down to the beach with our surfboard on our head. Let me tell you, walking on hot sand with a one-litre water bottle in one hand whilst simultaneously clutching onto a heavy surfboard is actually harder than you think.
Although I had thought we would be in an adult lesson, we were actually surrounded by little kids: outnumbered by about 10 children, with only 4 adults. I’m not sure how I felt about this because the children were getting the exact same lesson as we were and yet were paying far less.
Once on the beach, the coaches got us straight in the sea for a quick swim. We then arranged our boards in a semi-circle around the instructors (there were three) where we were briefed on the dangers/risks of surfing along with learning the ‘4 steps’ to getting on the board. These we practised and practised for about ten minutes until the coaches were satisfied and then we were back in the water – with our surfboards this time!
We were told to just give it a go, and give it a go we did! The instructors were very good and kept an eye out for anybody who struggled or wasn’t doing things correctly. All three instructors took it in turns to help each and every one of us which I thought was a nice touch. I had tried to catch a wave a couple of times unsuccessfully by the time I was approached by one of the female instructors. She said that my technique was correct but that I needed to bend my knees more as that was why I wasn’t balancing well. She then helped me catch a wave and this time I not only managed to get on the board, but I actually stayed there – hurray!
Feeling very positive after standing up on my board, I gave it a go myself this time and once again, stood up. The Go Ride a Wave team really helped with my confidence and the male instructor gave me a high five after watching me (quite literally) riding a wave.
The time flew by and both Alice and I were really enjoying our surfing lesson – we had both managed to catch several waves and were really beginning to get the hang of it. The male instructor was particularly helpful and gave us lots of tips and advice. It was thanks to him that I managed to catch one of the bigger waves and ride it almost to shore (I have no idea why but after staying on the board for a good five seconds I decided to jump off instead of get to the beach…)
After about an hour and fifteen minutes we had a short breather where we all came back in and arranged our boards in a semicircle shape again. We went over the 4 steps and were then given a challenge: we had to lie down flat on our boards, holding our hands behind our backs, and get up without using our hands. Once we were all done we were back in the water for another twenty minutes.
Unfortunately, I had started to get a rash on my right thigh and it was a pretty long one. It was fairly painful and I think this may have been what prevented me from catching further waves in the remaining time. I was also quite tired by this stage so that probably didn’t help either!
I didn’t take my phone down to the beach with me so I don’t have any pictures myself, however there are a couple of photos from Alice’s phone I managed to find:
A big thank you to the Go Ride a Wave team for giving me a very enjoyable and successful two-hour surf lesson. Go Ride a Wave may not guarantee that you stand up in your first lesson but I know that Alice and I both did. The staff were not only willing to help you out but were also incredibly friendly. I could not recommend Go Ride a Wave enough to anyone who wants to learn how to surf and is in the Australia area (though perhaps leg rash guards may have helped with my problem?)
*Go Ride a Wave offered me $25 off in return for this post but, as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Peace and love,