Let's Go Surfing
"Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning how, come on a safari with me…"
Yes, I grew up on the sounds of The Beach Boys in my dad's 61' corvette. I was always dreaming of one day learning how to surf. Little did I know that my first experience would not be in California at all, but at the beautiful and famous Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia.
My first time to Australia, in October 2011, was when I was first blessed with the sight of this iconic landmark. Part of our tour took us to Bondi to meet the "Let's Go Surfing" team and learn how a day at Bondi could be included in our client's itinerary with their very own surf lesson. Craig Wacca, one of the director's of the program, joined us on the beach that day. I have also had the pleasure several times since to meet up with Craig, aka "Wacca", at several trade shows during my continued Australian specialist training. The last time Craig and I met was in Chicago during the spring of 2015. At that event, I told Craig I was coming down with my son in October, and I would finally take him up on visiting his crew in Bondi for a surf lesson.
Flash forward to October 2015, and my son and I arrive in Sydney after having just spent several days in South Australia. The weather was a bit rainy, wet, and brisk. To top things off, our arrival was a little late coming into the hotel with no room ready. No worries! We contacted "Let's Go Surfing" and they were able to push our scheduled lesson back an hour. We did a quick change putting our suits under our clothing, left the luggage with the concierge, and made our way across Sydney via their public transportation system. The morning was a bit of "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles", but we arrived in plenty of time to pick up souvenir beach towels and grab a bite to eat. There are plenty of small restaurants to grab a small bite at across from the shore.
As the weather worsened, we made our way down the strip to the "Let's Go Surfing" headquarters. The beach was not the beautiful, sunny, crowded place I had seen in my previous trip. We began to wonder if we would indeed have a lesson, but noticed a few people in the surf. In true Australian style, they say, "You’re going to get wet anyway! Some of the best waves come with the rain! Our lessons are held during rain, hail, or shine. The only reason we will cancel is if the conditions are dangerous." So fitted with wetsuits, we headed out to the beach in the rain for our safety lesson. We carried our boards to the section of water they felt had the best waves that afternoon for us newbies. Let me tell you, carrying that board is a workout in itself. At one point in the juncture, they asked each of us to set an intention. My intention was simply to have fun with no high expectations of actually maintaining any length of time standing on the board. My son of course was, "I just want to get up."
It wasn't long before we were wet from the surf and had completely forgotten the grey, wet skies above. We were even working up a sweat with bringing the board back each round to try another wave. It was a great workout and an afternoon I will remember for a lifetime. While I never made it up long enough for them to snap a picture, Cullen did achieve his goal to get up and ride one in. It was a bit off balanced, but still an exciting success for him. As a matter of fact, we have it on our list of things to do next time we are Down Under. If you've got a bit of stamina, are in relatively good shape, and are looking for a day of fun, then I highly recommend catching a wave with my friends at Bondi.
Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, and WI. She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds. Her agency’s focus is on creating itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind. She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember. With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide ride of leisure vacation planning.