There is one thing you simply have to do when you come to Australia, and that is to take some time for surfing. Yesterday I had agreed with a surf school in Manly to meet up today morning to learn to surf for the whole day.
After getting up at six in the morning, taking the train to Sydney and then the ferry to Manly (recommendation from Iain, worth it, shipping past the harbour) I and a few others met up with Ryan, the surf school owner. Ryan's the typical Australian surfer you would think of.
Also doing the surf course with me where two English people with their Grandma from Lowestoft and a women from near Würzburg in Germany, Carina. So no language difficulties in any way.
Ryan drove us to Dee Why beach where we met up with our first trainer in the morning, sorry can't remember his name. After getting geared up in wetsuits and receiving a board we took to the sandy beach first of all to learn the move of getting up on to the board. After we had finished that satisfyingly we proceeded to head in to the ocean. Waves where a bit strange and inconsistent, that being said from an absolute novice like me. I tackled my first wave with the help of the teacher, paddled a lot so to get in front of the wave, was preparing to get up and surf, when I pulled something in my shoulder and the wave turned me over and I was in the water in no time. The pull in my shoulder had felt like my whole shoulder had fallen out, but it “slipped” back in again and was just aching a bit. It was my first try and I thought that I cant give up then. The whole morning was spent with me trying to get on the board, mostly failing and sometimes the weird “dislocated” felling in my shoulder. I managed to stand at the very last turn in the morning and what a felling it was.
We headed of to some lunch shortly after that and had some sandwiches. Our teacher had to go of, so we got a new one, more akin to a drill teacher, but still fun. The afternoon was filled with a lot of surfing, in total I think I managed to stay on the board around seven times. Once you are standing surfing is not so different from snowboarding. Lean to far back and you lose control of the board, lean to far forward and the tip will dip in and you go flying in front of the wave, just to be rolled over in the water by it. At the end of the day I had pulled my shoulder about seven times and was incapable to do any surfing for the near future, but I managed to surf. After getting dressed and having a sightseeing tour of the Northern beaches, viewing all the famous surfing champions from Australia in a sort of memorial they have built, we where dropped of at the wharf in Manly. Said our goodbyes and then Carina and me went to Manly beach and laid under the sun for a few hours. I ended up getting a sun burn in the end, even if it did not look anything like it at the beach. We said our good byes at Sydney Circular Quay and I headed back to Iains on a late train.
Unfortunate with my shoulder, I'll be seeing a doctor about that, but had a super time surfing.