Learning to surf has taken me too long, I have tried on previous trips to exotic places (Newquay) and ended up sore, cold, unsatisfied and exhausted. My main enjoyment of surfing has been based around watching Red Bull TV on a weekend morning with my eldest, Archie and I can sit for hours watching incredible athletes hurl themselves around sporting achievements with fearless grace. We love it.
If RedBull TV is the world your five year old brain associates with Surfing, imagine the excitement of a holiday to Sri Lanka’s South Coast learning to surf. Archie and I were both super excited about getting properly into this sport for the first time, so much so even Lexi and Jack my 2 year old got themselves fired up.
It won’t surprise many of you to discover that Surfing isn’t really like it is in the movies. I liken it to falling down some stairs, while someone beats you with a paddle, with a fire hose up your arse and a plastic bag over your face. All that said it’s magical allure grips even the most hopeless and before I knew it falling in and scraping my forehead across the bottom of the ocean started to become enjoyable, dare I say it even addictive as the week wore on and my skill went gradually from Incompetent to Inept. Neither Archie or I could have enough, sadly for both of us our muscles could and after much more than 2 hours exhaustion started to set in, mainly for me.
Archie was a legend a hard working, concentrating pupil who listened to his instructor and copied him to the letter. He got it, up and cruising around on the waves more than he spent at the bottom. Day 3 he got moved away from the slightly retarded foam board I was given and onto a proper “professional” surfing board. He was over the moon!
Archie’s long lost girlfriend from his time in London (Penelope) arrived in Sri Lanka to stay with us, and immediately they took to the waves together. This was Archies big chance to show off his surfing prowess and impress his girl.
The boys on Weligama beach took both of the 5 year olds out into the surf, and before we knew it had them both up and riding the waves into the shore. Obviously a 5 year old doesn’t look quite like the cast of Blue Crush in their first week, but I can’t wait to get Archie into the waves of Cape Town this Christmas for a very different experience!
Incidentally – Lexi broke her toes surfing day 1, and Jack got dumped by a wave into the sand and filled his eye up with grit. So we never really got into the water as a family…next time!