Lets Go Surfing at Bondi Beach!

Lets Go Surfing at Bondi Beach

To put it kindly – I am not a natural-born surfer.

When Lets Go Surfing asked if I wanted to head down to Bondi Beach to learn how to catch some waves I gleefully said yes, but as the days drew closer I began to get a little nervous.

I’m not sure if it was because Bondi has the reputation for being the place that all pretty girls in their bikinis hang out – one-pieces are more my style – or because of my five-days of surfing failure during high school – my friends are all surfers who could catch waves with ease whilst I was left gasping for air each time I fell off – but the nerves had well and truly set in when the day of the class rolled around.

As the Sydney sky turned greyer part of me was rejoicing that I might be getting out of the surf lesson.

Yep, turns out you can still surf even when the skies are grey.

Vintage surfing girl poster

The team at Lets Go Surfing were so kind and within seconds I was laughing and joking, almost forgetting my nerves about heading into the sea.
Kitted out with a large yellow board – the ultimate accessory to pair with the thick black wetsuit and bright blue rashie (that is Aussie slang for “rash vest”) I was ready to meet the rest of the class and catch that illusive first wave.

Running through the basics with Anna, our teacher for the afternoon, I quickly learnt that surfing is a lot easier than 15-year-old Nicole remembered. The hard part is to be confident and fast enough to stand up.

Learning about ‘goofy’ feet, the proper stance, how to stand up (yes, there’s a special technique!) and even how to paddle boards, Anna patiently took the group through everything we needed to know… and then we were let loose into the water to put it all to practice.

I couldn't stand up but I had at laugh | Lets go surfing at Bondi Beach, Sydney

Heading into the water my nerves came back to me, but also a sense of determination – I got this.

Paddling out I delighted in being back in the sea as the strong waves broke against me and I looked out for the perfect wave.

Spotting about 5 metres out I jumping atop my board and began to kick like a crazy woman. The wave picked me and my surf board up and I was riding to the shore. As my arm muscles propped me up ready to leap to my feet I realised that I couldn’t go any further – and like that I rode into the shore, laughing about how much fun the simple action of riding a wave in was.

And willingly, I picked up my board and went back out to try it again. My nerves had been washed away.

I laughed even when I wiped out! | Lets go surfing at Bondi Beach, Sydney

Time after time I just couldn’t get to my feet, the inner sensible Nicole telling me it was unnatural to stand up on a moving platform, especially when the sand was mere inches below me and I witnessed another girls board catch her on the head.

Again I tumbled off the board, was dunked by waves, but through it all I couldn’t stop laughing.
Being in the sea, surrounded by great people and with a lovely coach (if you get the chance I highly recommend taking one of Anna’s classes!) at the world famous Bondi Beach is just fun regardless of the outcome.

Many of the other girls did stand up and, despite only meeting an hour earlier, we all whooped and cheered each others achievements or came to make sure they were alright when getting wiped out by a particularly nasty wave.
Despite being from different countries – Australia, Germany, the USA, England – learning to surf led us to becoming a tightly knit circle, even if just for a couple of hours.

Learning to surf at Bondi Beach with Lets Go Surfing

One of the things I liked about the surf lesson was that there was no pressure, except by myself. We very slowly went through each step – learning to lay on the board and get accustomed to how it felt, learning to stand up on the sand and the correct position, and then trying it in the water. By the end of the lesson I was somewhat confident that I knew what I was doing each time I paddled out and was happy to catch waves without waiting for Anna to come and help me pick a good one.

Whilst Anna helped me in every possible way to help me stand-up for a wave it was just not my day, but I’m already planning my next trip to Lets Go Surfing at Bondi Beach and this time I will be standing up no matter how long it takes to catch myself a wave!!!

Have you gone surfing before?
Did you manage to stand up?

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Let's Go Surfing Logo

Lets Go Surfing

128 Ramsgate Ave,
North Bondi,  NSW

Phone: (02) 9365-1800

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Not sure if you’re ready to surf at Bondi Beach? Perhaps kayaking on Sydney Harbour is more your forte or cycling through Manly – you can do it from the comfort of your home.

Get a sneak peek of 5 of Sydney’s top experiences by using  the new 360˚ video developed by Visit Sydney, and you can even put your head in the game!

Create your own  360˚ video on Visit Sydney’s website.

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 This trip was made possible with thanks to Destination NSW and Visit Sydney.
A huge thank you must also go to Anna, Wacca and all of the team at Lets Go Surfing for arranging the tour and helping me fulfil my dream of becoming a Pro Surfer… almost!
All photography is courtesy of Lets Go Surfing and used with their permission!


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  • Reply
    May 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Looks like you had a great time and good on you for trying!
    You did a great job!
    Im terrified of the ocean (sharks..) maybe one day ill go cage diving to get over that fear..

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      What a way to get over your fear!!! I would love to go cage diving one day.

      I’m a little hesitant of the ocean – I was lucky to grow up with a pool in my backyard – but since they have plenty of shark nets I wasn’t too worried.

      Can you surf?

  • Reply
    May 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Looks like fun! I’ve had a surf lesson in Bali, but have never been to Australia. Hopefully I’ll get to try on Bondi Beach if I ever make it there.

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      A new goal: Bohemian (Surfing) Traveller? 🙂

      Surfing in Bali would have been beautiful, but I agree – you have to go surfing at Bondi when you’re in Australia.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Awesome article!! Surfing is something I’ve always wanted to try, and your day out learning to surf is inspirational. Thank you!

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Tanya!

      Hope you get to try surfing soon – it’s so much fun!

  • Reply
    Thomas Dembie
    May 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Great post! Regular surfers make it look so easy! I took my first lesson in Bali and quickly developed a lot more respect for those that surf. You need strength and the ability to know where to be at the right time. Starting on a long board is definitely the way to go! I was able to stand up on the first day and progressed to a shorter board later in the week. Can’t wait to go surfing again… hopefully at Bondi Beach!

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Thomas, I agree with you about respecting it so much more after trying. It’s a lot harder than it looks!

      Think I’m going to have to find a long board and give it a shot. =)

  • Reply
    May 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Haha I LOVE the pictures, you’re adorable! I’m definitely going to try this when I come over xx

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks, Scarlett! I do try to look as uncoordinated and adorable as I can when I surf 😉

      Please do give it a shot when you’re in Australia! The team at Let’s Go Surfing were amazing and so helpful in attempting to get me to stand on the board. There’s always next time…

  • Reply
    May 14, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Haha, it looks like the most difficult thing in the world! When I was traveling the world some weeks ago I was just lying at the beach watching them…

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Watching surfers is fun, but you should get out there and give it a shot next time, Marie!

  • Reply
    May 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Those ‘learn to surf’ boards are much easier to master than the real thing but like you I’ve had a bit of practise and I can’t stand up.
    I did however manage to get my dog to catch a wave. He wasn’t impressed!

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      We shall start a “we’ll stand up next time” surfing club I think Bianca!

      Seeing your dog catch a wave would have been priceless!

  • Reply
    Helen G. Dickerson
    May 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    You’re cute! Lol..I tried surfing once and I just thought waves were not my friends..haha..it’s really fun though!

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Glad you had fun even if those pesky waves aren’t your friend, Helen!

      Hope you get out there and try again soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Walter Bailey
    May 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    There is one thing on my mind right now after reading this post, ENVY, lol! How I wish I could visit this place soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      You should visit Bondi soon, Walter!
      It has beautiful beaches, surf, food and such a laid back atmosphere. 🙂

  • Reply
    2 Digital Nomads
    May 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

    You are so brave! We wanted to do that while we were in the Galapagos, but was more expensive than our budget so we decided to put on hold for now.

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Surfing the Galapagos would have been such a phenomenal experience, but yes – it would have been pretty pricey.

      When you make it to Australia you should consider it because it’s a little bit cheaper, but Asia is also a great option for affordable surf spots!

      Good luck and hope to read about your surfing experiences soon. =)

  • Reply
    The Nomadic Nepali
    June 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Never went for surfing, born and raised in Nepal, country filled with mountains. Someday will definitely love to try the surf .

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      You definitely have to get out of Nepal sometime and try surfing! It’s a wonderful freeing experience… though you might fall off your board a few times. =)

  • Reply
    Charli l Wanderlusters
    June 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I too popped my surfing cherry in similar style, although I managed to ingest a stomach full of sea water and wrench my guts up on the beach after my lesson – in front of the toned and tanned and oh so handsome instructor! Cringe!

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Owch – stomach full of sea water is never much fun, lest of all in front of a hottie!

      How did you find surfing? Did you stand?!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I never personally caught the surfing bug – although I instead caught the skimboarding bug – but glad to see you had an awesome time! And here’s to standing up next time! 😀

    • Reply
      July 16, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Wow, skimboarding looks a little bit extreme for me – I’m worried I’d slip and hurt myself badly because I’m pretty unco!

      Hopefully next time you get out on the water you catch the bug. 😉

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