Surfing in Byron Bay

22 Mar

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I woke up to the sound of morning rain, the first bit of rain we’d seen since that first night in Brisbane. We got up and checked in with the tour office at our hostel (Byron Beach Resort) to make sure that our surf lesson with Mojo (the surf) would still be on and it was so we made our backpackers budget breakfast of toast, peanut butter and tap water and got dressed.

The Mojo bus, which was about the size of a school bus with a large trailer of brightly coloured surfboards hitched to the back, showed up about 15 minutes late and we were the second and third people to be picked up. The first was a Canadian from Vancouver named Tom who didn’t sound Canadian at all. We learned that Tom had lived in Denmark up until high school before moving to the great white north – strange Canadian accent explained!

On our way to pick up the others in our group, just past the roundabout into town, we heard a loud crash and the sound of metal screeching across pavement. We looked back to discover that our trailer of surfboards had capsized over and broken away from the bus. Thank goodness nobody was driving behind us or walking alongside the road!

It took us 20 minutes to unload the turned over trailer, have the Mojo shop drop off a new trailer and re-load it before we were on our way to complete the rounds of pick-ups. In our group that day we had 6 or so Swedish bombshells, a couple from Melbourne, a few girls from Germany, the Mojo photographer Anna from Australia, and our 2 instructors, James from Australia (also driver of the bus) and Rod from Brazil.

We pulled up to Lennox, the surf spot chosen for the lesson that day, were each assigned a board (mine was very small for a beginner surfer) and walked over to the beach where we’d be surfing. While Rod set up flags in the sand that we were to surf between, James did a warm us and took us through the 4 steps of surfing. Then it was time to apply our skills in the water.

The waves were pretty big that day being a bit stormy, though the rain had stopped, and for the most part we were able to walk our boards out to the spot where we’d hop on to catch a wave. I had James holding my board while I waded out to catch my first wave and unfortunately he let it go and I got beamed in the face. Having had several nosebleeds due to the many changes in the air over the past week my immediate worry was that I’d have a nosebleed in the water and attract sharks. (After seeing the shark feeding frenzy off the coast in Perth, I was a bit squeamish.)

I put my hands up to my nose, and no blood. The next wave that came my way I hopped on the board and began furiously paddling but before I could ‘pop’ the fins of my board dug into the sand of the beach. Lesson learned: we hadn’t quite waded out far enough. The next wave I caught was from further away from the beach and I managed to pop up and ride the wave all the way into shore. The only downfall (literally) was that I rode until once again my fins dug into the sand and I face-planted off the board. The rest of my surf day was pretty much the same for me: ride in, fins in sand, face-plant.

J.J. was having a bit of a more difficult time getting up but I managed to see one quick pop-up before he stole my move of letting the fins of his board dig into the sand and face-plant. Unfortunately, no photo of this – sorry to disappoint, folks!

After 2 sessions (we took a break and were given oranges – just like half-time at a house-league soccer game), we were exhausted and my knees in particular were absolutely shredded. We did a quick rinse in the outdoor shower before piling back on the bus to watch the slide show of photos that Anna had taken that day. There were definitely some good shots, but not 5 that I would have bought for $35.

We arrived back at our Byron Beach Resort and each took a hot shower before making ourselves a delicious backpackers dinner of white pasta (we couldn’t find whole wheat), pre-made sauce and fresh-cut veggies.

We hit the hay not long after our late dinner, exhausted and a bit hurting, though I knew if I remembered correctly the hurt from the day after surfing is much, much worse.

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One Response to “Surfing in Byron Bay”

  1. agatethompson May 10, 2012 at 07:44 #

    Yes, I am agree with you that surfing in Byron Beach Resort, Australia is really very good.

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