On Sunday morning, after correctly going North on the Bruce Highway, James and I arrived at Noosa for our first surf lesson! We were taught in a group of five by a cute young guy called Alex who is about to graduate high school but has been surfing his whole life. James had been looking forward to this experience for weeks and I was too, in my own way. When people visit Australia surfing is something you expect them to try, we see it as quintessentially Australian. Obviously the first thing to be reserved about is sharks, but Noosa has shark nets so that worry can be crossed off the list. For most people, the thought of getting caught up in big waves with a big board attached to your foot isn't great either, but Noosa is in a cove type shape so the waves are baby waves. We had been told it was the perfect place for beginners.
First of all we learnt about safety, watch for rips, keep the board straight heading into waves, what to do if caught in a rip etc. After a bit of technique practice on the sand, basically 3-legged downward dog in yoga but on the board, right leg through, left leg in front, tell the time with the right arm, left arm pointing forward and 'squat like you're taking a shit in the bush'. Stay looking ahead. Simple.
Out of our group of five there were me and James, a girl who had surfed once before, a guy who was a wind surfer and a German girl in an inappropriately small pair of bikini bottoms (to add insult, she also had a big spot on her left butt cheek). Of course the wind surfer dude and other girl were great and soon catching waves on their own, leaving me, James and weird German girl in the tail end of the group.
Surfing is definitely not a dignified sport. We were given rash vests but the board also rubs against your knees, elbows and hands. When starting out Alex would say 'hop on' and position himself behind the board ready to push you into the perfect wave. Whilst you were waiting you might come across a big wave that wasn't the right size to wave, in which case Alex would hold onto the board and let it wash over you, also taking your bikini bottoms right up your butt. There was no time to retrieve said bikini bottoms before the next wave (plus it might make for a worst sight) so you'd stay laying down, on your toes, hands back by your ribs, tan lines and butt on full show for Alex. Oh well I'm sure he's seen it all before! Then it comes to the falling off, no possibility of being graceful there. On some of my rides I manged to surf all the way to the beach, steering, only to topple off onto hard packed sand with a loud smack. Luckily my last wave of the session was perfect and I hopped gracefully off onto the beach! I was thinking I had enjoyed it but was a bit relieved it was over when James comes up alongside me and asks 'when shall we next go? Let's look at getting boards?' I had been thinking about this as an experience but James had enjoyed it so much he wants to make it regular thing! I'll let you know what happens!
For the rest of the day, we drove back down south along the Sunshine Coast stopping at Castway Beach and Marcola Beach. These were both quite quiet beaches as they were very windy, but we did see a lot of kite surfing, I'm keeping my fingers crossed James doesn't sign us up to try that one! I also saw a huge Xmas tree at one of the beaches. There are lots of decorations up at the mall and fake trees being sold but I could not feel like like we are entering the festive season, just not right in the sun!
We both kept our tshirts on all day to protect the burns from the previous day and while is was happily napping at one beach a little crab friend came and joined me on my towel... Here's some pictures of our Sunday day out...