Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get in touch with Danah, (the surf instructor I met in Margaret River) in time, but I booked a couple of days of surfing lessons and had a blast. The beach was about an hour drive south from central Sydney at a place called Boat Harbor (which was odd, because there were no boats, and no harbour; go figure.)
There were only about 5 of us, and one instructor (Ekka), but the conditions were less than ideal for a first day. It was a sandy beach break. It was overcast and cool and there was little wind. The waves were about 2 feet (which roughly translates to a 2 meter face) and were coming in very close together. This made it really tough to get into position, and it was battle of a day, even though we were surfing broken waves. I did manage to stand up a few times briefly, and even rode in on some unbroken waves that I caught further out, although I don’t think I managed to stand all the way up for those. Determined to do better, I decided to come back the next day.
Today there were 20 of us, and 4 instructors (Doug, Ekka, Alex, and some other Grommit whose name I don’t remember) and the conditions were better. It was warm and sunny, and the breeze was blowing almost directly away from the beach. The waves were about 6 to 8 inches (which roughly translates to a 50 – 75cm face) and coming in very well spaced. In fact there were a lot of times during the day when there weren’t waves to be had. Luckily that was lunch time. I definitely managed to stand up quite a few times and had a few fairly long rides. The most difficult part became recognizing the waves before they came in, and timing the paddling to be in the right spot at the right time. The second to last ride of the day was definitely the best, and I got to turn a bit.
What the heck was I thinking living in Santa Cruz for nine years, and not surfing?!??
All of that skateboarding as a kid definitely helped my surfing experience.
It’s really remarkable how different the same surf spot can be from one day to the next.
I’m totally stoked to do it again, although perhaps not on this trip.
(Did I hear someone say Costa Rica?)