Thursday, 30 May 2013

14. Have a surfing lesson

Let me first start this post by apologising for the lack of images. This was through no fault of my own. Firstly, the nominated photographer, Lyndsay Airey was still on a train up from London because she'd left her bank card at home and had to go back for it. . .and then the photographer from the Chronicle Live on behalf of NCJ Media who approached us and asked to take our photos for the paper, who we were so willing to oblige (especially considering a wet suit is not the most flattering outfit to have a photo shoot in) did not publish our pictures in print or online therefore apparently I am not able to get a copy of them, queue a strongly worded email back.

Barry's surfing van

Anyway back to the event. It was the afternoon of Saturday 25 May 2013 and I was 27 and a day. The sun was shining and the waves were rolling. Now a seasoned surfer would probably tell you that they were actually tiny little waves but let me tell you that when you are waist deep in the water getting prepared to fling yourself on your board to ride a wave then they look pretty damn big!

Looking good ladies

My partners in crime were Laura Wilson, Sarah ‘Buttness’ Butler, Victoria Lowery, Laura Fenwick, Catherine Mullen, Hannah Kerrigan, Gemma Beggs, Eileen Hoey and Alex Johnson. Our instructor for the day was Barry from Longsands Surf School, who was awesome. A ‘hands on’ instructor who was in the water with us at all times and had some good banter. If you fancy trying you hand at surfing then I would definitely recommend booking a lesson with Barry to give you a few pointers and then you can hire the equipment and go it alone.

I did find that the basics of surfing are fairly simple:
    1. Get into wetsuit
    2. Attach surf board to leg
    3. Get in the sea (it’s pretty frickin cold even in a wet suit)
    4. Climb on surf board
    5. Lie down on surf board
    6. Await a wave

10 minutes later. . .
I think everyone managed to do the above which I think is quite an achievement. The most challenging part of the day for me was getting myself into my wet suit (lol) and when I got on my board not rolling off the other side straight away. . .the next step was to try and stand up on the board and ride the waves. We tried this on dry land first to make sure we knew was position our bodies had to be in. For this the instructions were as follows; when you see a big wave coming at ya then paddle (like crazy) with your arms for 5 strokes, and then 2 more for luck. At this point you should be ‘riding the wave’ so push yourself up with your arms on to your feet, your legs should be wide apart on the board and your body should be in a squatting position that should resemble, to quote Lyndsay Airey “like you are about to drop the kids off in the pool” and voila you should be surfing. In reality this did not happen for me, I got up on to my knees but then my arms gave up so I just went with it. It’s no surprise though that Hannah Kerrigan and Alex Johnson were the two up on their feet catching the waves.

All in all I had an awesome time, apart from the two occasions that I got wiped out by the waves and swallowed half the North Sea, but don’t just take my word for it, get yourself down to your nearest beach for a lesson. Here’s to hoping that the next thing I tick off my list is as fun!