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Everyone knows that surfing is one of Australia’s most popular sports, so I figured I’d give it a go myself. Just this past weekend, I went to Surf Camp Australia, located at the beautiful Seven Mile Beach, to learn the ins and outs of the sport from professionals. All I can say is the videos make surfing look waaaaay easier than it actually is!

The weekend fun began on Friday evening, when the Surf Camp coach bus picked us all up in central Sydney and drove us straight to the camp property. When we arrived, we had an orientation that lasted for around an hour, and then we spent the rest of the evening mingling with each other and settling in. Since I went to Surf Camp alone, this was yet another great opportunity for me to make new friends and connect with people from all across the globe! I met people from Germany, Ireland, England, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland, Chile, Scotland, fellow Americans, and even local Australians.

On Saturday morning, we all got on our wet suits for the first time and headed out to the beach. We were each given a surf board to use for the weekend, and during each lesson, we were taught new tricks and surfing techniques. Simply enough, our first lesson was how to get up on the board. The instructor demonstrated the steps, then we each had plenty of time to practice in the sand before getting in the water. When it reached that time to get in, though, the instructors came around to help us each individually. It sure does make it easier to stand up on the board when the instructor is holding on to the back! Luckily, the go-pro caught my action on camera, so I have actual proof that I did in fact, catch the wave and stand up. I can’t imagine I was standing on the board for longer than a total of 40 seconds all weekend, but hey, I still had my fun!

After our first lesson in the morning, we went back to the camp grounds for lunch. After all, a good surfer needs to keep the body fueled! We had burgers and veggies, which totally hit the spot after a tiring morning. We even had a little bit of down time before heading back out to the ocean. During our second lesson, we learned how to test the surfing conditions, as well as how to speed up and slow down on the waves. Since I was still focused on standing up on the board, I didn’t get much practice with controlling my speed, but I did give it a go every now and then. The instructors, as always, were very helpful with their teaching methods such that when they came to help me personally, I was always able to get up.

After dinner in the evening, we all went to a local pub to dance to live music and enjoy each other’s company. This pub was filled with people of all ages, and had a live performer which made it that much more fun. But, since we were all tired from a long day of surfing, we were in bed shortly after midnight to get enough sleep and energy for the following day!

On Sunday, we got one last surfing lesson in the morning, ate lunch together, and were put back on the back heading to Sydney. The surfing conditions were absolutely perfect for beginners, so I got to practice in optimal conditions! The time in the water went by extremely quickly, but like always, I still got my personal time with the instructors. In fact, when we were told that we only had time to catch one more wave before heading back to the shore, an instructor came to help me so that I could get up on my last round. And sure enough, I did!

As sore as I was by Sunday evening, I was really disappointed with how quickly the weekend came to an end. I loved the people I met at Surf Camp, was really impressed by how personable and helpful the instructors were, and had so much fun trying this new activity. I am no professional surfer, but if I could go back and do it all again, I most certainly would!