Monday, 10 February 2014

Surfing Safari...sort of.

You SHALL learn to surf, because I said so.  And paid for it. 
As befits our location we have decided, collectively to learn to surf.  This momentous decision manifested in all three children being placed into surfing lessons during the holidays.

This decision does not include adults.  We don't surf.  Mike due to reading Jaws at the age of 12 and me because I choose to live vicariously though my offspring in this regard.

I booked all three kids into three days of lessons for mid Jan.  In order to get a spot I had to book and pay in full in early December, such is the popularity of the lessons.  I think this might have been highway robbery but I wasn't confident enough to challenge the man on the phone.

Here is how the lessons panned out:

Issy is so small that she was thrown off the board like a piece of popcorn every time a wave of any substance came through.  The poor instructor had to keep catching her as she flew off.  This didn't frighten her in the slightest.  Her main problem was body temperature, despite the sunny day, she got cold very quickly and had to be frequently rubbed with towels.

She also developed a disturbing habit of running up to her young, handsome surf instructors and slapping them on their taut, wetsuit clad bottoms.  I was at the same time appalled and envious.

Josh took to it like a natural, and after the first day in nice easy little waves during which he stood up multiple times, declared himself an expert, needing no further instruction. I bought him his own spring suit but declined to purchase a $200 soft board on the basis of this enthusiasm.  He was deeply distressed at my lack of generosity.

The second day there was much wilder surf and he struggled to stand even once.  This caused him to declare surfing stupid and too hard.  He has settled now into a mild passion, vying with cricket for domination of his psyche, and luckily we have excellent friends who can surf, who are willing to take him out on a borrowed foamy and put him on waves.  His Dad, a firm non surfer (see above), takes him to the cricket nets.

Sarah my darling child who has no sense of natural balance whatsoever, tried her absolute best and stood up maybe once on the first day.  The rough weather meant had no chance of getting up on the second day but her love of the experience and her total optimism despite setbacks put her brother to shame.  She had the best attitude of the three of them by far, yet she is the one who has to work the hardest.  Goodness I love her.

The third day was so rough the kids had to wait on the sand in a line and be taken out one by one.  This meant a great deal of waiting, and much engineering of sandcastles and holes.  It was their least favourite day, but they learned a great deal about rips and troughs and gullies.

I learned that there is no bag big enough to carry all the crap you need to take three kids surfing.

Bag packing entered the realms of the ridiculous. 
I learned that zinc is cool again.  Maybe it always was and I didn't realise.

I learned that one towel per child is not enough when one of them gets out and dries themselves three times with three different towels in the first 30 minutes.

I learned that even though it may be 28 degrees, hot chocolates are necessary after surfing lessons.

I learned that while you try to photograph one child standing on a wave, that child will fall off, while at the same time another one will be having the ride of their life all the way into the beach and you will miss it.

I'm pretty sure this is one of my children.  Possibly the youngest.
I learned that when your kids are taken 'out the back' on a reasonably rough day, you will spend long periods of time without sighting them.  This causes you to take up the 'concerned mother pose', where you gaze out to sea for long periods of time, yearning in the direction you last spotted them, and trying to remember the colour of the board they were on.

A perfect example of concerned mother pose.  

Look, it got us out of the house, and onto the beach.  And they can surf better than they could before, which was not at all.  So that's something isn't it?