A lot of people have been telling us we really should try to surf while being in Australia. None of us had ever tried it so were better than Australia to hit our first waves? It’s been always a dream of me (Heleen) to surf one day and we are sure the kids will love it as well as they really enjoy to be in the water. In my head, I can see myself standing up immediately and riding the waves. But I can tell you now, it’s not like that.
Go Ride A Wave Surfing School
During the Christmas holidays, we were staying around Brisbane for a couple of weeks. Perfect to look out for our first surfing lesson! In our search for the right company, we wanted to make sure we could have a lesson altogether. We really wanted to share this experience with our kids and not be in two separate groups. We found ‘Go Ride A Wave’, an amazing surfing company, already around since 1987. They are a member of the Surfing Australia surf schools and are known for their safe and pleasant experiences, all while keeping the environment in mind. They have different locations in Victoria, but also Noosa Heads and a couple along the Gold Coast, which is reachable by public transport from Brisbane. Ideal for us! So we booked our first surfing lesson, right on the beach of Surfers Paradise at the Gold Coast. Doesn’t sound too bad don’t you think?
And then our first surfing day was finally there…
On the day of our lesson, we took the train and tram to reach the famous beach of Surfers Paradise. When you see lots of (hip) people hopping up and off the tram with surfboards and the tram even has a special corner to put the boards away, you know you have come to the right place. So full of excitement, we went over to the meeting point. Their office and meeting point is situated at the end of the main street, immediately at the beach. After a warm welcome, we could leave our stuff behind in their office, and we all got our own red ‘Go Ride A Wave’ shirt. We went over to the beach in pairs of two while carrying two surfing boards.
It needed a little explanation of how to carry them properly, but we all reached the sand, even our two girls. The sight of them walking with their surfing boards and their red T-shirt to the beach was already worth it ?! Look how hip our girls are ?!
First, we got a safety briefing because you are still in the ocean with quite big waves and currents. And those surfing boards can hit someone so better to know how to handle them! Safety first! After some translating to the kids, we all feel ready! Oh, just one minor detail, apparently they have spotted a lot of bluebottle jellyfish recently in these waters. They have been blown towards the beach by strong winds. The instructors tell us a sting of this jellyfish hurts but is normally harmful. So let’s hope for the best the kids don’t get bitten and let’s pretend we don’t mind!
Lets hit the waves
We put our surfing boards with the rest of our group in a circle on the beach and all learn the basics of surfing. How to catch a wave, throw ourselves on the board and push up! The instructors explain it very clearly, so in our heads, it’s all perfectly understandable. But of course, it’s in the water the real test begins. So we go over there to practice this move. And we all succeed in grabbing a wave and being pushed to shore while pushing ourselves up! Not standing on our boards yet, that will be the next step, but we get the first sense of what surfing is all about.
On our surfing day, the currents were quite strong. So for the kids, it was kind of hard to get their surfing boards back into the water. But luckily the instructors were very helpful, allowing us to enjoy our first lesson as well.
Learning to stand up
After our first water session, we go back ashore for the second part. How to stand up on your surfing board? Because that is, of course, the ultimate goal! So after jumping on our boards for a couple of times on the beach, and having a lot of fun watching each other, we go in the water again for the final practice with one purpose, standing up!
It takes several waves, but after a while, we can proudly say we all succeeded in standing up on our surfing boards! And it felt amazing! Still a little bit unstable and only for a short time, but we did it!
Oh, and about the bluebottle jellyfish, Heleen met them… And yes it hurts but we didn’t make to much fuzz about it not to scare the kids. To be honest it was not that bad and after a couple of hours, it was gone.
How did we experience our day
We absolutely enjoyed our first surfing experience and lesson with Go Ride A Wave!! After two hours, we were exhausted but it was one of the top experiences of our trip to Australia. The instructors were amazing, funny and so helpful with the little ones! They made sure everybody could enjoy this lesson. We got lots of time in the water to practise, which was of course why we wanted to learn this. While learning the basics of surfing, we laughed a lot and had a wonderful experience!