Surfing

For a couple of years now I've wanted to go surfing, but never managed to find someone to go with. It's always been a bit of a shit scenario for me. Well last year, my friend Michael said we would go, but we both ended up being too lazy. This year we said we'd go and this time I was going to, no matter what.

So... I organise my first ever surf trip, and it turns out that Michael had to work. True to my word I went ahead anyway, posting the the event on Facebook in case anyone else was interested. Ended up that there are a lot of people on my friends list who have always wanted to surf but haven't. They just needed someone else to do the planning, provide the impetus. On this first occasion, I had one friend, Ailsa, who came with me. Now after 3-4 months, we have a crew of about six regulars, and additional people numbering up to the twenty something. Everyone always has a great time.

Initial research into how to get started began with looking on-line at the different surf schools for my area. There were about five or six websites. I picked http://www.kingosurfing.com.au purely from the website. Its quality of design, emotion of the content, and overall aesthetic feel really felt genuine. I emailed Chris up and booked lessons for Saturday and Sunday.

So I pick up Ailsa, we drive down to Goolwa. The drive was pleasant, we took the Mt Barker route down through Strathalbyn. Subsequent trips we take South Road through Mt Compass, because we have to pick up from south of Adelaide.

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When we get there we meet Chris, who's tall, really tall, and really friendly. I think he may have had his children running around him that day, its pretty funny to see a 6'+ guy pick up a toddler in diapers, his kids wont have any fear of heights.

Chris gives us a wetsuit to wear, I of course put it on backwards zipper at the front and have to be  schooled in how to wear a wetsuit. It's funny because a few people who've come with me since all do the same, were all such noobs haha. He also gives me this 9' foam board that I can barely wrap my arms about. we head down to the beach for a 10 minute chat and practice of standing technique before we head into the water.

Now he said a lot of important stuff, but I can barely remember, it might be worth my while to sit in on another session. He did have three rules though.. hmm what were they:

  1. Always keep your board shore side, its dangerous to have it ocean side because it will smack into you, and boards are hard.
  2. Stay to the side of people, not behind them or in front,  otherwise their board may hit you(or you them) when they catch a wave or for other reasons.
  3. hmm I cant remember three, perhaps I need to listen again.

We take our boards out to the water and I'm honestly really amazed at how easy it is to stand up on these things, remember I have a 9' foam board.

Goolwa has pretty consistent swell, but the waves break all in a line rather than peel left or right. It also has a really long sand bar so you don't have to paddle, just walk out to the first break and catch the white water.

After an hour of standing and falling off, Chris calls us back in. We change boards down in size and go back out for a second hour. Chris likes to progress you as fast as he can to the fibre glass boards.

It was a really really good day.

From then on its been a blur of salt, sand and surf. Almost every weekend I've taken the 2 hour drive down to Goolwa, picked up friends along the way, bought my own board(7'6'') 2nd hand, soft rack for my car, wet suit(tiki TK90). It only costs me petrol to go out now. I've also got a shopping list for future purchases that includes: 6'6 board, a go pro(There are barely any photo's of us) , an actual roof rack, some sort of wind/sun shelter, and I'm sure I will keep adding to it.

I'm catching waves,  standing up, getting some turning action, practicing my duck diving, still a long ways to go. I push myself to paddle out to the second and third break to get dumped by the 1.5 meter waves, I'll conquer that and be able to stay out there for longer than 20 minutes.

Yesterday was surfing in the rain with strong 15 degree winds, I kind of like the rain, but the wind wasn't so much fun. This winter should be interesting since I hate the cold, might have to invest in some more gear.

So yeah, I like surfing now, its fun and cheap.