Surf lifesaving field trip
So on Sunday the 12th, I made my first trek up to Manly beach. I had to wake up at 7 to catch a bus down to the harbour to make the 8am ferry ride so that I would get to the surf club before 9am. I was fine on the ferry, it took 30 mins each way. From 9-11 our class roamed the beach and observed the Nippers’ last day of training. The Nippers are a group of 5-14 year olds who do all sorts of beach activities as a club for fun and/or competition with a long-term goal of becoming a patrol or lifeguard on the beach. It’s a sport distinctly Australian, so you won’t find it anywhere else except maybe NZ. It’s actually really interesting to watch… the kids choose what they want to do, some participate in the games and races, some just hang out and socialize or build sand castles. And the parents are super involved and encouraging, most hang around their kids during the training, and they even stand by their child before the start of a race to offer advice or encouragement. So really, the Nippers stay in shape, make friends, and learn about beach safety while competing, having fun, and providing community service.
Australia really does have a very intriguing beach culture. The kids are cute though. Some of us uni students had a tug-of-war with the Nippers and they beat us! Then the girls beat the boys, haha. 1.5 hours definitely wasn’t long enough.
After the training, it was time for my first surfing lesson! Finally, after years of longing for this, I got to try surfing. Keyword = try. The lesson was way too big, there were like 25 of us in one group… 4 teachers, but still… try waiting for waves with 25 people right around you. Ridiculous. It was shallow but the waves kept coming in. Every time I tried to get back out to the waves, I’d get swept back in. It was really frustrating, and I got knocked down a zillion times, got hit by my board, got hit by other boards, got hit by the sand, flipped over a few times… good thing I’m so comfortable in the water. Finally I figured out how to conquer the waves and get away from the shore, but then I’d catch waves on my stomach and ride them in… apparently I am good at boogie boarding, but I failed to stand up even once on my board. So disappointing. I was on my knees a few times though. If I had a little more time I think I may have been able to stand up, but alas. It’s also annoying because once the wave comes, I can’t really see anything because I need to squint so my contacts stay in. So I’m not really sure if this surfing thing will ever happen for me. It’s really sad though because this has been my dream for awhile now, and then I go ahead and finally do it and it’s not that enjoyable. I’m not sure if I’m ready to give up on it yet though.