They are the blond haired, blue eyed, tanned skin Aussie stereotype. The surfer. With thousands of kilometers of coastline in Australia, some epic surf breaks, the large numbers of surfers comes naturally.
And so surfing has become an iconic sport Down Under — one that must be attempted by travelers and tourists in order to get a feel for the beachy Australian lifestyle. Great surf beaches vary depending on your needs, such as a beginner or those wanting the barrel waves.
Take advantage of the nearly endless summer in parts of the country to surf you heart out, but a newbie will need to start with a good surf lesson. Surf schools permeate the coastal areas of the cities and smaller beach towns. Sydney has surf schools on the famous Bondi Beach, but Manly Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches area offers good competition in a much less crowded location. Byron Bay is a newbie surfer’s haven, just as is the Gold Coast. Margaret River over in Western Australia is surf lesson icon.
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A surfing lesson usually involves an early morning wake-up so you can catch the best waves in a quiet beach setting. Before hopping in the water, the instructors typically try to teach you the best surfing techniques in the sand… and it is a tiring experience. Many people don’t realize how much of a workout surfing is until they hit the waves. You’ll paddle out repeatedly and also repeatedly do push-ups from a lying down to standing position.
A surf lesson will usually last a few hours, but a company south of the Gold Coast does 3 to 6 day “Surfaris” where they tour the best surf beaches in a few different locations for the ultimate surfing instruction.
Newbie surfers have every right to attempt catching awesome waves, but there are some rules to follow in order to keep the peace with the other surfers trying to do the same:
- Don’t drop in on someone else’s wave.
- Don’t paddle into the path of surfers.
- Let the person closest to the peak of the wave take it.
- Don’t hog the waves.
- Drop a quick apology if you happen to do any of these accidentally.
Before heading out, try to fit in by learning some good surfie speak.