Surfing in Australia. Or not. Why I Wasn’t Quite Living The Dream.

Before I went to Australia, I had an image in my head of what life would be like.  I could just see it.  I’d live by the beach there’d be a few cute guys around, the sun would always be shining and I’d be learning how to be an awesome surfer.

Surfin in Australia - Arrawarra Beach

Living 30 seconds away from Arrawarra Beach was the dream!

Now most of that was true. I got to live 30 seconds away from the beach, there were a fair amount of cute guys around, I had my curly blonde hair matted with sea water, my tan was coming on pretty well and the sun was almost ALWAYS shining.  Even when it wasn’t, I didn’t care because I was living the dream at Mojo Surf camp.

Working there for 6 weeks was the ideal break I needed from Sydney at the time, however there was just one thing that wasn’t quite fitting into the picture.  My surfing (if you can even call it that) was diabolical.

You’d think working for 6 weeks at a surf camp would be the perfect opportunity to learn how to surf.  And it was.  It was the best place I could have learnt.  However, me and surfing didn’t get off to the best start.

Surfing in Australia - I tried to find my mojo.  I really did.  But there were sharks!!

I tried to find my mojo. I really did. But there were sharks!!

Strike 1

In my first lesson, I had the misfortune of my bikini top going AWOL.  Not cool.  Also not cool that by dinner time EVERYONE knew about my unfortunate mishap.

Strike 2

The next time I went out for a surf, the waves were pretty rough.  I have no idea what happened but before I knew it, the board was flying towards me and BOOM.  It hits me right in the face.  Yes it hurt.  No I didn’t want it to happen again, so I got out of the water and took comfort on the sand where I knew I was safe.

Surfing in Australia - the Mojo family

Pretty much everyone in this picture could surf better than me.

Strike 3

In Australia there’s sharks.  I don’t know if you knew that but there’s lots of sharks.  It’s probably quite rare to come across one but I heard rumours around the camp one day that while a girl was out for a lesson, there was a bull shark lurking in the water nearby.  I didn’t even need to know if this was really true or not but it was enough to keep me out of the water for a while.

Surfing in Australia - earning my keep at Mojo!

Earning my keep at Mojo!

On the rare occasion I did go for a surf, (once for a casual paddle which turned into me properly surfing for the first time, once for a early morning surf as the sun rose and another when a bunch of us were just going out one day) people were shocked.  I was one of the few people that hardly ever went out into the water for a surf and all because a few things freaked me out.

My image of my life in Australia never made it to quite the full drawing.  But if I am ever out in Australia again, I’d probably head straight back to Mojo Surf, get on a board and not let stupid things put me off.  For now though, a 2 hour drive to sunny Scarborough to catch some waves will have to do.

Have you ever been surfing in Australia before?  I still think surfing is awesome but I didn’t take to it as well as I thought.  How did you find your first surf lesson? Also if you’ve ever surfed with Mojo Surf I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

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  • I want to learn to surf, but I have absolutely no balance or grace or co-ordination so I think it will probably go as well for me as it did for you 😉

    I really like the idea of Stand Up Paddleboading tho’ it looks tons calmer 😉

    • Yeah I wasn’t really the best at it although I still like to think I’m a surfer chick at hear (it’s definitely all in my head though!) I went standup paddleboarding a couple of weeks ago in America and absolutely loved it! That’s something I would definitely do again, it’s so relaxing! You should try it if you get chance 🙂

  • It’s funny how you picture your dreams and how they turn out to be in real life. (Very sorry but I had a laugh at the bikini top incident and board on face… But I’m over it now)

  • Knowing about sharks would be enough to keep me out of the water. Check other places to surf though. Costa Rica perhaps?

    • Oh Costa Rica does look beautiful and I believe there’s some pretty good surf there! That may be a future trip in the pipeline…

  • Haha! I chose to live in Australia when I was 16 as an exchange student for the same reasons. Hot, cute guys with accents and surfing. I literally almost broke my neck the first time I tried it and then the next time I even got into a water, I saw a reef shark. I know NOW that they are small and don’t hurt people. Then, it scared the living daylights out of me and freaked me out for YEARS! I would like to try it but I’d have to have an instructor holding my hand. Preferably a tall, cute one with an accent. 😉

    • I think seeing any kind of shark would freak me out so I probably would have reacted the same as you! Also a cute instructor definitely helps and I’ve never seen more cute guys than when I was in Oz so at least that bit of the dream was true!:)

  • I have that image in my head about Australia too: every one knows how to surf there! Glad to read it’s not always the case 🙂 I’m not really comfortable in the water, so surfing wouldn’t be my kind of thing, especially in the possible presence of sharks! Other than that, I’d love to hang out on some of the surfer beaches though!

    • There’s some really great beaches in Oz and where from I “learnt” to surf was especially beautiful…away from the city and more rural. Most people do know how to surf though, it just seems to be the way of life in Oz!

  • I think I’d be useless at it too, I’m bad enough at body boarding, so you’re not the only one! Sounds like a great experience though, and good to say you’ve given it a go!

    • It was one thing I really wanted to do when I was in Australia, just unfortunate it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. It’s a good excuse to go back to Oz though and try again 🙂

  • I don’t surf per say but I love to SUP

    • I tried SUP in America a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it! Will definitely be giving that a go again if I get the chance 🙂

  • At least you tried! I probably would have had the same ideas….and the same experiences. I also lost a bikini top thanks to some crazy waves. haha!

    • Haha, at least I’m not the only one although I’m sorry you had the same unfortunate experience! Bikini tops need to be more secure haha!

  • I’ve never tried surfing, but I have a sneaking suspicion I wouldn’t be very good at it!

    • It’s always worth a try, some people I knew didn’t think they would be good at it either and were catching waves pretty quickly!

  • I love watching people surf, but wouldn’t necessarily want to learn how either. Maybe you can try it somewhere else another time.

  • Haha, i like the sound of your Australian dream, i had almost the same one before going to Aussieland…I also volunteered in a surf camp for much shorter time but it was amazing, the owner actually gave me some lessons and I was making progress so quickly. I was so happy with myself 🙂

  • I would really LOVE to try surfing, but I’ve heard it can be tough! Yikes, losing your bathing suit top on the first try – no wonder people were talking! Those are some crazy mishaps! But makes for great stories!

    • Haha, yes I got a good story out of it 🙂 You should give it ago though, just being in the water is pretty fun even if the surfing isn’t going that well!

  • You were still brave to even try..!
    I tried on Bali, Kuta beach. The waves are not as rough there and I got a big heavy board. Although it was a pain to get it further from the shore against the waves, then the surfing part was pretty easy. I enjoyed it a lot and loved also the part of falling into the water 🙂

  • Oh no too bad – but I feel ya – the shark in the water would have kept me out as well. Yikes – I remember when we first moved to Europe and I had this fantasy how my life would look and well lets say its not exactly the same either LOL!

    • Oh no! I hope it’s not too different from what you imagined it to be. There’s so much variety in Europe so I guess it’s very easy for things to turn out differently!

  • This is too funny! But at least you can make light of your surfing experience. I have surfed twice (in Indonesia)… the first day was awesome! I was up on the board riding some waves, and the second day, I couldn’t catch any waves for the life of me….. beginners luck! haha I’d love to go again though!

    • Haha, maybe it’ll work the opposite way round for me. Next time I might be amazing! I’m sure you’d pick it up again if you went again 🙂

  • Haha, this is such a cute story! I always imagine posting up by a beach and learning to surf but when I actually get in the water, it’s a whole different story! Surfing is super hard and almost always a bit painful! I’ll leave it for the pros! Haha.

    • Aww thanks 🙂 Yeah that’s so true! No pain no gain though I guess….but I’m such a wimp with the pain! Maybe I’ll have to leave it to the pros too!