Learn to Surf

We are now back from our holiday that was so relaxing.  The part of New South Wales where we were staying (the mid-north coast), receives the highest rainfall in the State and I have mentioned before in several posts how up until this holiday I had never seen the sun shine in this region.  I thought the residents all made up the fact they had rain-less days, blue skies and sunshine.

Heading out into the water

Heading out into the crystal clear water

But on our recent one-week holiday we didn’t have a drop of rain and almost no clouds.  We had beautiful blue skies every day and don’t you fall in love with an area all the more when you can see it at its best (in full sunshine!)

Perfect conditions for beginners

Perfect conditions for beginners

One of the things we had packed into our 7-seater was Carl’s massive 9-foot plank he calls a surf board.  A few days ago we again woke to perfect blue skies with a promise the day would see temperatures in the high 20’s (82F).  ‘Perfect beach day’, said Carl.  We put the surf board onto the roof of the car, drove to Sawtell Beach, put a wetsuit on Alfie and told him he was having his first surfing lesson.  The private lesson started on the sand with Carl showing Alfie how to go from lying to standing and then it was down to the water that was 24C (75F) where the swell had died down and the waves were now perfect for beginners.

Getting his balance

Getting his balance

Riding a plank is the best way to learn because you have a lot more stability (or so I’m told because I’ve never surfed), and from the very first wave, Alfie was ‘surfing’.  With the wet suit he managed to stay in the water for over an hour.

He's standing

He’s standing

When he’d dried off it was time to explore and we waded through a channel of water to explore rock pools and climb to the summit of a little hill where we saw a stunning view of the coast and Pacific Ocean.

Catching his first wave

Catching his first wave

The teacher and his pupil

The teacher and his pupil

Walking back across the channel after exploring rock pools and climbing to the summit

Walking back across the channel after exploring rock pools and climbing to the summit

Then it was off to the cafe at the Surf Club for burgers and a coca cola spider.  A great day for an eight-year old boy.




  1. Aww well done Alfie!! I couldn’t even dream of standing up on a surfboard, paddle board or plank! 😛

  2. Looks like it was a successful lesson!

  3. Good job Alfie, I would fall off for sure! I miss the ocean…I may just sit here for a while and stare at your photos 🙂

  4. Just one look at Alfie and it’s clear that he’s a natural surfer. Watch out! You have a dude in the making there! So glad your vacation was fun.

  5. Good for you Alfie! I tried wind surfing years ago and failed miserably. So nice that you had such great weather for your holidays. I’m going to google spider now, it’s new to me.

  6. A great day indeed! Carl’s ‘plank’ sounds like the ‘beemer’ (or perhaps ‘beamer’) I learned to surf on the one time I have surfed, which was at age 15 on a 1-week school camp. It was great fun and those low swells are perfect for testing our balance skills.

  7. Look at that blue sky and waves and smiles on your kids-dad’s faces. Life does not get any better than that!!!! If it makes you feel any better, I have seen the sun shine in HK for almost 2 months. I think it is up there but trapped under the smog and rain clouds.

  8. I’ve never learned to surf either…I think it’s like skiing in that past a certain age it’s harder than it’s worth to learn. But yay for Alfie! I’m sure he’s a natural. 🙂

  9. I’m impressed, standing up, first go on any surf board- plank or otherwise. Great teacher! GG

  10. The one time I tried surfing, I ended up so sunburnt that even my toes were red, and standing up caused the blood rushing to my feet to be agony.

    Yours is a better story than mine.

  11. Wow! That’s something I could never do. I could roll on like a beached whale but stand up? never happen.

    Alfie must have had a glorious day with mum and dad all to himself. Such a special week you’ll all never forget.

  12. Amazing! Something I’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t had the chance to. I’ve never been in the ocean…I should make a bucket list! Australia…Surfing {ocean, kill two birds with one stone}…Ireland…Goodness, Ima need a bigger piece of paper! 🙂 xo

  13. Yeah for Alfie. And I love these ocean pix. Beautiful. Sunshine and 70s in Minnesota today. Loved every minute outdoors.

  14. That looks like so much fun and how clever is your boy! What great balance he has. I tried windsurfing in Sicily some years back and I was hopeless. I am sure I would be at surfing as well.

  15. Good for you Alfie! I’m too scared of sharks to try- at least that’s my excuse. It might actually have something to do with having to wear a skin tight wet suit 🙂

  16. What fun Charlie. A perfect holiday ( although I am sure you have a few more stories to tell from behind the scenes

  17. When we lived in California, my husband learned to surf and loved it. He and friends even went after work a time or two. I think there is a certain fever they get when their feet hit that board and they ride their first wave, though I would not know personally. Ah, fun in the sun is so good for our well being — glad it was such a glorious week for you. 😀

  18. What beautiful weather and not just a great day for 8 year old boys but also adults too hehe ~ Never been surfing but looks fun!

    Hope you haven’t been too busy since your holiday! Take care xoxo

  19. Oh wonderful that you have beautiful weather on your gorgeous holiday! I think it would be so fun to learn to surf, challenging, but fun! Enjoy, hugs, Terra

  20. Cola cola spider is a new phrase for me! I had to resort to Google, I admit, but love the term! I’ve had many – just didn’t know they were called spiders. 😉 Sounds like a fun time. So great to have sunny days on your vacation!

  21. What an awesome accomplishment for Alfie – I know in his position, I would just be a major wipe out 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. This is one vacation that will remain etched in Alfie’s memory. What fun! Great that the weather was so cooperative for you, as well. Blue skies, warm weather, and a beach. That’s my kind of vacation — but I’ll pass on the surfboard. 🙂

  23. I’m so impressed! As you know, I never go in the sea, so watching your seven year old standing on a plank on his first attempt is especially impressive! 🙂

  24. Not bad for his first lesson. The weather has been absolutely superb on the east coast these holidays. Talk about living in paradise.

  25. well done alfie! i have no sense of balance to even think of doing a surf lesson 😛

  26. Wow, I give Alfie a lot of credit!! Amazing! I don’t know if I would ever be brave enough to try surfing

  27. Wow, I am so impressed with Alfie’s surfing prowess. I can imagine the results if I tried to surf! 🙂

  28. I love the coast of NSW. So beautiful. I keep meaning to take the ocean road. I’ll do it soon!

  29. Alfie looks so cute in those photos, a natural on the surf board.
    Coke spiders remind me of my childhood, although my very generous Dad who enjoyed making spiders for all the neighbourhood kids, had a preference for lime or raspberry soda. Happy times!!

  30. Perfect weather, gentle waves for first-time surfing, exploring the beach… I couldn’t be happier for y’all, Charlie!

  31. Wow, good for Alfie! There’s a fair amount of surfing around where I live but I’ve never, ever tried it. And now I just may be too old! The water looks beautiful there. And it sounds like you had a fabulous time. All of you!

  32. lol, what on earth is a “Coca Cola Spider”? 😀

    I’d love to be able to surf… must be such a cool experience.

    • Hi Charles, a ‘spider’ is a drink. It’ fizzy drink of your choice with a scoop of ice cream added. We call them ‘spiders’ because of how the ice cream turns the top of the fizzy drink to foam and it drips down the sides of the glass like spider’s legs!

  33. Are you kidding me!! How cool is this kid!!! I have trouble standing on my feet in my ocean! Kudos!

  34. Well done Alfie!!!
    The only way I can stay on a surfboard is on hubbies huge plank, although he has to push me onto the waves as well 😉

    The surf club would have been a nice spot to enjoy lunch too, I am so pleased the weather was good to you 🙂

  35. Sounds like an excellent day indeed! My kids always ask for swimming whenever we go on vacation. They don’t need to go to anywhere else as long as there is ocean or pool. I wonder if they would pick up surfing. Alfie is amazing for his first day! I’m really impressed!

  36. What great memories you are making for Alfie. Looks like a lovely holiday.

  37. Take me there!!! It looks absolutely gorgeous! I have never tried surfing (I admit I am a little scared of the ocean – I know I am such a baby!) but looks like a fun day 🙂

  38. Even though I lived basically on the beach during college (at a surfers school no less) I was never that coordinate to surf. Stuck to body surfing and that was good enough for me. 😉

  39. Look at him go! A complete natural xx

  40. Looks gorgeous!!! How fun.

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