Yet another weekend of very average surf conditions. Barely 2ft and onshore most the time. I did not mind so much as I did my 2 day surf instructor training and in fact quite happy that I did not miss out on any cranking waves while I was stuck in the Lifeguard Headquarters in the Shire to learn how to teach people how to surf in the surf instructor course.
Well, we were actually not stuck inside all day. Sunday we spent quite some time in the water. Saturday, however, we had to sit through theory for most of the day. I was surprised how many people did the course. There were about 20 people. I loved the fact that it was people from all walks of life and different reasons for doing the instructor course. A lot of teens who just want to make money on the side during their school holidays at the local surf school; some were just looking for something to do after uni; a professional surfer who did the course to kill the time between Indo trips and others who just do it to complement other types of personal training.
It felt a bit like being back at school. Only that at school I used to be the cool kid (well semi cool) and now I was the nerd with the accent who asked questions all the time. Like in real school, it was also hard to pay attention for an extended period of time and we were almost looking forward to get in the water by lunchtime for our surf assessment even though it was only about 1ft and onshore. It was probably not too bad for me that it was really bad conditions because there were some pretty good surfers there including groms from around there. I would have probably struggled catching a wave amongst 20 people who all rip in amazing conditions at their local break.
After the surf assessment we had to go back for a bit more theory. It’s not rocket science; it’s really just making you aware of the things you do when you surf. As a surfer, everything that comes with surfing from carrying a board to the beach, paddling out to catching a wave and standing up – it’s all like second nature to us and you tend not to think about it at all. Having said that, because I’ve learnt as a grown up, I’m still quite aware of what it’s like when you first learn how to surf. Well, that’s what I thought anyway…until Day 2 of the course came around…It was the practical day. Blake, the guy who ran the course, did take us through a lesson and we all had to pretend to be beginner surfers. To make it as real as possible, Blake made us surf switch foot (for those who don’t know, we had to surf the opposite of our natural stance on our boards i.e. I’m a natural footer with my right leg at the back and he made me surf goofy)…oh dear…that was hard. I was absolutely useless. I managed to stand up but my rides were fairly short. I did indeed feel like a beginner again. Good practice anyway and a good way to put yourself into the shoes of beginner surfers. We also had to teach a little bit (or pretend to teach to our fellow candidate coaches) and then finished off with some more theory and paperwork.
There are a few more hoops to jump through before I can call myself surf instructor. One of them is re-doing my Ocean Rescue Award, which sucks balls. I’ve done my Bronze a while back but it needs to be renewed. It involves swimming and running which are not my favorite activities. Especially swimming…I’m super slow because I always forget to use my feet and on top if it I get seasick swimming in the ocean. Oh well, I got that far…
So watch out aspiring gidgets, soon (after Chrissie probably) I will not only just be smarty pants via blog but will actually be officially allowed to give you hands on surf tips and real surf lessons. Whoop Whoop. I’m very much looking forward to turn some more ladies into gidgets.