Learning to Surf

December 15, 2006 @ 10:59 AM – Lorna Galt

I have been learning to surf in Scotland for the last year, mostly under the coaching of the boyf, so when I was planning the trip to Noosa in Australia he very generously gave me a holiday present of some surf lessons – he’s so diplomatic! So I got myself down to Merricks ‘learn to surf’ and signed-up for a three-day course.

We were separated into groups depending on ability. I started to get a sinking feeling, as my group was mostly made-up of 10 year olds who looked bendy, agile and might even know what they’re doing. But I tried not to let this concern me telling myself it’s because in Australia everyone surfs – right?! After practicing our stance and pop-ups on the beach we hit the beautiful rolling waves of Noosa.

The conditions were perfect for a novice – waist high warm water with well-behaved waves rolling in on a perfectly timed basis. So what was wrong with me? I paddled for all I was worth and could barely catch one. By the end of the session I felt totally dejected. My arms felt like they might fall off and my confidence had hit rock bottom. Trailing my board back to the van I wondered if I should even come back the next day – I’d been looking forward to surfing in Noosa so much and thought with the near-perfect conditions I’d be out the back with the big boys in no time. What an idiot.

Day 2 – wasn’t looking forward to another humiliating session with the ‘groms’. However had a new coach – Anthony, so decided on a new attitude – success. Anthony grabbed my board and pushed me backwards – “ok watching Lorna, now – paddle, paddle, paddle, paddle!!!” I paddled like a crazy lady and on his command jumped straight up. The relief was overwhelming – I was up!

For the rest of the session my standing up vrs falling off ratio was much improved. As I finished day 2 I put the failure of day 1 down to a bad board day – they can happen right?

Day 3 – started off well and finished on a complete high. Was standing up more than I was falling off and caught loads, well at least three green waves. Plus my sister even managed to get a picture of me standing-up! I had a great time at Merricks and really feel like I’ve turned a corner in my surfing I just hope that the next chance I get in the water I won’t have forgotten everything I learned – it’s going to be a long winter.