It has been said around 1 of 3 non-surfers would be interested in learning to surf.
Are you are one of them?
It’s just that you don’t exactly live in a community that lives and breathes the culture that is surfing.
So what is it like to be integrated in a surfing community, even if it is just for 5 days? To be surrounded by coaches who know what the hell they are doing and people who want to be a part of it just as much as you.
Lucky for us, Audrey shares with us her very recent experience at RipCurl Surf Camp. She took the jump and joined the camp on her own and by the sounds of it, she would do it a thousand times over.
What It’s Like To Experience RipCurl Surf Camp With Audrey
W: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
A: I’m 17 born and raised in Sydney and starting my first year of college at ACPE next week. If I’m not studying then I’m usually finding something new to do. At the gym or surfing. If I’m not out surfing, I’m thinking of the waves.
W: We are always looking for something new to do too Audrey.
W: What does leading an active lifestyle mean to you?
A: It means respecting my body because I am so thankful to all the amazing things it allows me to experience. It keeps me on track mentally and physically. Keeping me centred to give me a fresh mind so I am always ready to face new experiences. My happiness comes from being able to be active and adventure around.
A: So if I’m not keeping myself active and on track then I loose that mindset.
W: Couldn’t of said it better ourselves.
W: When was the first time you surfed and what was that experience like for you?
A: Surfing was hard, but that didn’t bother me because I had so much determination.
A: My very first surf lesson I remember clear as day. I was 14 years old and on holidays in Western Australia, Yallingup Beach. It was sunny and perfect conditions for learning. I couldn’t even lay down on the board without falling but I just kept thinking of how amazing the reward was going to be, it was such a strange feeling. For some reason I just had so much determination I don’t think I’ve ever put so much effort into anything before.
W: It’s like the saying goes:
A: Thats what I loved about it, in the moment your so focused and determined you have no time to worry about anything else but the present moment.
A: I surprised myself when I first stood up on my second attempt right then and there I knew that it was something that was going to stick for life. There was just some connection there, it was challenging and hard taking a beating from the ocean and I could see the other first timers getting frustrated and some left but at the same time I was so incredibly happy, it gave me a satisfaction I had never felt before. It’s something you need crazy determination for but if you want it then you’ll get it. I’ve tried almost every sport growing up and I think surfing naturally chose me.
W: Tell us what it is like to spend time on the RipCurl Surf Camp.
A: Growing up in Western Sydney (far away from any beach) and not in a very surfy family I had been craving the surf life. At RipCurl Surf Camp you get the whole package. For 5 days I finally got to live out my dream. I loved the routine, breakfast, surf, lunch, surf, dinner then chill time and they defiantly love to party over there!
A: The camp was in Gerroa which is about 2 hrs south of Sydney. This is far away from any place or anyone I knew. It was the first time I had travelled by myself. It was just amazing to have the freedom and to live in a surfing environment.
A: 7 Mile beach is an iconic spot I’m so grateful to have been able to experience surfing there. Near perfect conditions almost every day and the sun was out all day while we had the whole beach to ourselves. It’s defiantly the lifestyle I am going to live in the future.
W: What made you want to join RipCurl Surf Camp?
A: I first came across the brochure in a RipCurl store in the city. I was 14 just coming back from my first lesson absolutely stoked on surfing and since then I kept it in my room looking at it almost everyday. Dreaming of it. I just wanted to be able to live the ultimate beach life where I could surf everyday and ask someone questions as a mentor since I had no one to teach me at home. Also because I just love surfing.
W: What are some things you learnt during your time away?
1. Your eyes get sunburnt.
2. Backhand and turtle roll.
A: Being a regular footer (stance) its just natural to make a right on the wave making a front hand turn but the instructors worked with me to fix my backhand turns which feels so unnatural and slightly scary because your back is facing the wave. However the way the waves were breaking (an open left face) I was almost forced into the situation. If I wanted a good ride I had to backhand it.
A: The turtle roll is where you flip upside-down below the breaking wave so it passes over you when your paddling out. It was such a relief to finally learn it because it made it a lot easier to paddle out without getting thrashed everytime.
3. Learning to use a shortboard!
W: Congratulations Audrey. Can you teach us now?
A: The coaches were super helpful and encouraging.
A: They said I was ready to ditch the longboard and go for a short board, which was a “fish board”. It is harder to use a small board than a long board so I had no idea what to expect. I picked it up quicker than expected and was able to work more on manoeuvres. I’m so glad they gave me the opportunity to try different boards out. I’m defiantly sticking to the short boards now.
W: Maybe be need to try this camp out.
A: Once you find the spiritual side of surfing, then your hooked for life. It’s something very personal and it’s all about being apart of something that bigger than you.
A: You have to have the guts to get out there and step over that ledge. Challenge yourself and of for it.
W: Is there anything else you might want to tell us about the camp?
A: Yes! The people! I was one of about 2 other Australian campers (excluding the staff) the rest were backpackers. They absolutely made my experience 1000x more better. I definitely made some lifelong friends there. They were so happy and full of life, keen to learn and very open people just wanting a good time. It was kind of overwhelming the first day because I met so many new people from all over the world. So many questions and stories to tell.
A: Not to mention the staff were absolute legends! Guaranteed laughs every day, so encouraging in the water with lots of experience to share. Good vibes, very chill and good food.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Audrey. RipCurl Surf Camp did you well and we are so thrilled that you got to be a part of a community that is true to who you are. you definitely encompass many of our Wondrous values and we look forward to sticking around for your surfing journey.
Now we want to hear from you:
Have you ever joined a surf camp, or wanted to join? What is your biggest fear?