This weekend’s wave wrap is a special one because not only did I surf but also tried to teach others how to surf. Together with my friend Supriya, I’ve organised a healthy weekend away for six aspiring gidgets. Most of the ladies have never surfed before or only had one surf lesson at the most. So I’ve hired a bunch of soft boards and wetsuits and booked a nice house away down South away from the Sydney crowd. I was the ‘surf-instructor’ and Supriya, responsible for the food side of things, was our ‘chef’ for the weekend. She’s a bit of a foodie and knows her stuff when it comes to cooking not only super tasty but healthy food.
Despite all weather warnings, we headed down South on Friday and woke up to a beautiful morning. As a ‘surf-instructor’ I saw it as my duty to test the surf conditions prior to the first surf lesson. I sneaked away at 6.30 am (not that any of the aspiring gidgets was awake by then anyway) and surfed Green Island. It was fun at around 4ft and offshore but still quite a bit of water moving from the storm the day before and I don’t know but it was really quite scary surfing so far offshore all by myself at dawn. So despite the waves being quite fun, I did not feel very comfortable by myself and I was out within the hour.
By the time I got back from my extended surf-check, the soon to be gidgets were awake too and ready to roll for their first surf lesson. Well, ok maybe not quite. Everyone was fairly comfy sitting on the sun deck bellies full of tasty brekkie. I made them get up anyway and I think once everyone had their wetsuit and board assigned, everyone was if not excited at least curious what their first surf was going to be like. Conditions were ok for beginners but not amazing. It was probably 4ft out the back and low tide and a bit onshore which made it quite easy to catch the white wash (no, in case you were wondering I did not try to take them out the back in their first surf). The only thing it was a bit messy which did not give them much time to turn the board around and hop on. They had to be quick. But I had very good apprentice gidgets. They got the hang of it quickly and some even stood up in their very first lesson. They also stayed in the water for about an hour. I did not expect that at all. I thought everyone would be over it within the first half hour. I was so proud of them. Even though I did not surf myself, I had heaps of fun helping them out on the boards and pushing them onto waves. It was really rewarding to teach them. I was as stoked as they were when they caught a wave or managed to stand up.
We even went for a second session in the afternoon. The tide was quite high though at that point which made for a mean shorey. There was still some whitewater further out to catch but it reformed on the shore to a bit of a dumper. My brave gidgets did well again. It was a bit of a washing machine though and not everyone was a fan of playing in the washing machine. It was still fun on the softies. Once everyone was done for the day, I had another quick session on one of the softies.
By the end of the day I was unbelievably tired. Who would have thought teaching makes you tired too. Not only were my arms sore from pushing the boards onto the wave but my legs from running around in the water. It was a good exhausted though. Everyone seemed happy and stoked about their first day in the water. The day ended with a great dinner and some wine. Well not quite, it actually ended quite late with…As you can imagine 9 girls (another gidget joined us on Sat) had a lot to talk about and despite being rather tired from the surf, we did not make it into bed until late, chit chatting till way past midnight.
I felt like I was hit by bus the next morning. I checked the surf at 6.30 from the balcony but was too exhausted to go out straight away even though it looked pretty good. When I finally got up I was really happy to see 3-4ft perfect waves breaking in front of the house. I couple of hours later when I returned, unlike the first day, everyone (well almost) was keen to get into the water. So brekkie for me and no nap but straight back into my wettie again for the next surf lesson. Conditions were much better for learning with the tide going out. Everyone was standing up and catching waves. Once more I was really proud of the ladies.
Teaching the girls to surf was a really interesting experience for me. It reminded me that what’s second nature to myself can be actually quite hard, balancing on your board, catching waves, sitting on your board, standing up… It made me think (and laugh) about my own first surf experiences. For me it was also nice to share my world with my non-surfing friends. And it was good to see that everyone enjoyed playing in the water. The girls seemed to forget about everything around them and were so focused on catching waves. I guess, no matter if you are a beginner gidget catching a wave on the belly, if you are a more advanced gidget catching your first barrel or if you watch your mates catch their first waves, it’s just good to be out there.
Even though tired without my usual naps, I got back from the trip in high spirits and can’t wait for the next Venus Goes Gidget Surf Away. Well done, girls and thanks for such a fun weekend!
PS big thanks to Dripping Wet who supplied the boards at a special gidget deal. Special thanks to Simon who lent me his car, which got converted into a gidget mobile (Did you know your car fits six surfboards including 9 footers inside?) And of course thanks again to our healthy chef Supriya for all the fantastic meals you’ve cooked for all the hungry gidgets.