Surfing for beginners

In Blog, Great Outdoors, Lifestyle, Sports by jennisheppard1 Comment


“You’re a goofy! You’re a goofy!” cheered Sarah, the instructor, beaming under her sunhat. I wasn’t surprised. Anyone who has seen the Disney character’s laughable attempts to surf couldn’t fail to miss the resemblance.

As Sarah enthusiastically explained though, it’s all about how you pop up to stand on your board. Left foot forward? You’re a natural. Right foot forward? You’re a goofy. I was definitely not a natural.

Sarah Henderson owns Constantine Bay Surf School, giving beginners’ surfing lessons on the beaches around Padstow, Cornwall. Lucky for me, she doesn’t care how goofy you are.

We arrived for our first two-hour surf session early on Saturday morning at Constantine Bay, a gorgeous beach edged by a ribbon of sand dunes. It was low tide and, after some thorough instruction from Sarah, we bounded in to the enticing waters, leashed to our foamy boards.

Surfing isn’t easy. Standing up on the board requires you to stay focussed on a set routine of movements, which is quite difficult when you’re concerned about that really big wave/rock/bodyboarder coming straight for you. Not to mention the killer jellyfish.

Several friendly collisions and mouthfuls of saltwater later, I finally got to my knees and balanced there as a breaking wave powered me towards the watching dunes. It felt amazing.

The following day, under the black rocks guarding the small beach at Booby’s Bay, I waded my exhausted limbs out to the water for our final session.

As I lay paddling on my board, I cast a glance behind me at the open water. Rolling waves loomed on the horizon. I took a deep breath.

I surged forward and, spurred on by the waves roaring behind me, I swiftly scrambled to my feet. Looking up, I saw a jubilant Sarah, jumping for joy, cheering me on.

For a few glorious seconds, this goofy was surfing.

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Sam H
Sam H

I so wanna try that. Can't believe I've never done it. I know I'll be pants at it but what the hell...