Sunday morning I tried surfing for the first time. How much fun was that?! I totally loved it! I have definitely got that bug!Ok so I and everyone else I know just knew I would get hooked straight away… surfing is something I have wanted to try ever since I was very young (I had a body board for when we were on holiday in Cornwall). The question was could I actually do it?!
So I decided that rather than just hiring a wetsuit and board from a beach hut I would book a proper lesson, working on the theory that some sort of technique and some tuition would mean I had more chance of actually being able to stand up on the board.
I booked a half day (3 hour) lesson with the Oneill Surf Academy at Watergate Bay. I’ve been looking at what they have to offer for some time, and as we decided to go to Cornwall for the Easter weekend this year it seemed the ideal opportunity. They are based at Watergate Bay (Newquay), which is just an excellent place to surf.
To be honest I was hoping for a much warmer start to April, and was especially worried the day before when we had heavy rain for most of the day, plus a very cold wind. Brrr! But thankfully when we left for the lesson it was dry and there was even blue sky, although it was still windy and cold.
I was very thankful for the (brand new) winter wetsuit I was given to wear (as unflattering as wetsuits are!), as well as the boots and gloves – all of which kept me toasty warm while I was in the water.
So we started with a jog along the beach (NOT baywatch style – I’m so short my wetsuit had extra material gathered around my belly which looked remarkably like rolls of fat… it wasn’t fat, honest!!!), followed by some instruction on what we were supposed to do once in the water. I was with just one other “student”, Tim, who was on his second day of a two day course. After that we headed off to catch some waves…
The idea was that I practiced “catching waves”, getting used to how the board felt staying on my belly. I loved this part of it, and it was familiar thanks to the (lime green) body board I had as a child – I may have even used it at this very beach, I’m sure my Dad can correct me if I’m wrong! There are four different stages to getting on your feet on a board, the belly being the first. Next you get up on your knees, followed by getting one foot in the middle of the board (very lady-like), and finally standing with your feet in the correct postition and your arms out for balance, looking forward.
I felt like I was learning quite quickly (and was having a lot of fun in the water!) – and thanks to the winter suit I was toasty warm – there is no way I’d have coped in a summer suit! So I just went for it, after a couple of tips from Ashleigh, my instructor, about how to force myself to let go of the board (yes, I was holding on!). And I did it. And improved quickly, managing to ride the waves stood up on the majority of goes. I also got better at picking which waves to go for (although this part is definitely an art).
Thank you so much Ashleigh for some brilliant tuition… I had so much fun and WILL be back again – looking forward so learning more next time! I even had a look at the cost of suits and boards – it’s such a shame there is no decent surf at Skegness!!
If anyone wants to learn to surf firstly GET ON AND DO IT! Secondly, book a lesson with the Oneill Surg Academy, it’s well worth the small amount of money it costs and you’ll have loads of fun!